I am sitting at Gate A in the Atlanta airport, waiting to board my flight to San Francisco, watching the commotion of thousands of others rushing by me. I can’t help but wonder about them. Where are they from? Where are they going? What did they pack in their suitcases? Do they enjoy traveling? Are they nervous? And I wonder if they think these same questions about me, a young woman wearing a tie-dye T-shirt and Chacos sitting alone. If they asked, I would tell them my story.
I woke up this morning before dawn and drove with my family to the airport in my hometown, Huntsville where I said goodbye to my mother, father, and sister for eight months, because I am going to live in Ecuador! I am going to be completely immersed in a foreign culture, learning the language and customs of the people. Yes, I am excited! No, I am not scared. And honestly, I have no idea what I have gotten myself into. I am probably going to face challenges that I can’t even think of. I might get homesick and cry. I will be out of my comfort zone. I will meet diverse people and make lifelong friendships. I may learn more in this year than in all my years of school. Today is only the start of my travels. When the plane reaches its destination, I will have only just begun my journey.åÊMy anticipation is taking flight.