Thursday, March 6, 2014

My First Trip Abroad

Let me start this with a little bit of background information. As you can tell from the title, I have never been outside of the United States before. With-in the States I have traveled a bit, trips to Philadelphia, D.C. to the north, then more extensive traveling to the south, including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, even a day trip to New Orleans.

That being said, I have dreamed of traveling for as long as I can remember. I also talk about it a lot, even though at this point in my life I haven't gone very far. My parents are even expecting/planning on being able to visit me at my foreign house (at some point in the future). I think that everyone has those dreams that they have as kids. Their parents encourage it, usually just because they're glad that their kid has big dreams. Well, traveling the world was my dream, and I never stopped talking about it. The fact that this summer will be my first step toward what I consider to be my life's goal makes me a little giddy. Valencia, Spain will be my first trip.

Map courtesy of goeurope.about.com

I've decided to write about my trip on my personal blog, rather than starting a new one, as I did with my SOUL experience last summer. The difference being that SOUL was a job, and this is simply part of my life as a student. I also wanted those posts to be easily distinguishable from others, whereas I hope to continue documenting my travels here throughout my life.

Though my trip isn't until late June, I want to go ahead and start documenting the process. Beginning with examining my expectations. My hope is that I remember to come back to this list afterwards and relate my experiences back to it.


     1) My number one expectation is that this trip will help me to
        be much more confident in my Spanish speaking. I am
        currently pretty proficient at reading and writing, even
        listening. But when I go to speak, I am so scared of making
        mistakes that I just don't say anything.

     2) An expectation that I have of myself is that in this trip I
        am able to become more flexible. By that I mean better able
        to go with a change of plans, or to make plans on the fly.
        As far as organized people go, I am one of the more
        organized people that I know, however with organization
        brings a certain rigidity in the plans that I make. I'm
        hoping that with this trip I am able to have a plan, but be
        more willing to change with changing conditions and
        circumstances.

     3) When I leave Spain I want to be able to cook a solid
        Spanish meal, hopefully a skill learned from my host-
        mother.

     4) If you've read any of my other posts, you may know
        that I love photography. Throughout this trip, I want to
        focus some on my photography. I want to capture as much of
        the people, the culture, the way of life as accurately as I
        possibly can. I hope that my pictures will begin to reach
        another level as far as connecting the viewer to the
        subject of the photo.