Preparing to Leave Everything I Know

Claire Wohlers - Ecuador


July 19, 2013

40.

39.

38.

37.

36.

35.

34.

34 days until we leave everything we know for something completely new. Excited? Of course! Terrified? Out of my mind. I have a hard time even talking about August 21st for fear of the emotional spew-age (for lack of a better term) that will most likely follow. But, ready or not, here it comes. And quickly.

Thinking about what is to come has me doing some major reflecting on why I chose to embark on a very scary, exciting, thrilling adventure over the more traditional path, college.

I’m fortunate enough to say that I’ve spent the past 18 years of my life in beautiful, lively, diverse San Francisco. I’ve loved living here and and have mixed feelings about leaving the only place I’ve ever called home. And yet, I know that it will be one of the best things that has ever happened to me. While I cherish every bit of San Francisco’s diversity, almost all of my 18 years here I’ve spent in 2 different private schools. My parents have put everything they’ve had into my education and I’ve been fortunate enough to have access to things like laptops and learning specialists. But, being in one of the most expensive cities in America and in private schools, I’ve been surrounded by extreme opulence for a lot of my life. Not that it isn’t fun, being surrounded by caviar and Cadillacs, but it isn’t real. It is so easy to forget, living here, that I live in a bubble.

Last summer, I traveled to Cambodia and escaped my bubble. The experiences I had, the people I met, and the friends I made while I was there compelled me to look into taking a gap year abroad. And here I am, about to leave for Ecuador in 34 days.

Claire Wohlers