Countdown Series: 9 Days

It’s getting serious guys, we are in the one-digit numbers… and it’s not only starting to sink in for me but also for my friends and family. My friends are organizing all sorts of “lasts” events, my grandparents started going through old photoalbums to dwell in the past and reminiscence on your life and my parents started treating me as if I’d been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and would die next week instead of going abroad: “Why don’t you tell us what you want for dinner for the rest of the week and we’re gonna make it for you?” “Oh no, you don’t have to carry it downstairs, your brother’s gonna do it.” “I think you should go to the movies with your brothers, its on us”. It’s awesome but doesn’t make it easy really to go away. Which would let me to my next point:

9 Days- Leaving My Comfort Zone

Everybody has them and they can be a BITCH! I mean, the only positive thing about comfort zones is that you can JUMP them. That, however, takes courage, sometimes lots of it. As my time at home is coming to an end and the challenges ahead are becoming more defined, I am sitting in bed at night thinking about all the new things I’ll have to do on my own. Bank accounts, budgeting, phone, driver’s license, masters degree, cooking. It’s not like I haven’t traveled or lived alone yet but this time, it’s gonna be different. I know for sure that this summer was the last one I’ll ever stay at home again for that long, being a child, meeting with friends like old times. After grad school, there will be work, lots of work, the days of 3-month-long holidays are over. I know I have an amazing support system and I am lucky for that but all of them are gonna be far, far away. 9000km far away to be exact. I’ll have no one there to turn to and ask for support, no host family, no original circle of friends, I’ll be on my own. Entirely. Wow. So, in 9 days it’s not only time to begin THE YEAR but also the time of uncertainties, challenges, barriers and problems. The time to get past my comfort zones and while this isn’t part of my usual countdown- excitement-list, it belongs just as much to a semester or year abroad as the cultural stuff you’re looking forward to. I don’t doubt that I will get to know friends but it’s the starting off point, the problems that will come in between the studying and traveling and surfing and socializing. And I’ll have to handle them like an adult. Problem is, I’m not good at being an adult. I’m just cleverly disguised as one. I also didn’t think that I would ever be brave enough to go on an adventure like that on my own, it’s not common where I come from and I used to envy the few friends that went on exchange years or gap months. Always wondering how it must feel to go away for a long time, throw yourself into cold water. I lived their year through the eyes of facebook pictures, always being amazed by their adventures. But now it’s me who’s going, not my friends, me. Awesome…Just that I have to overcome the fear of the things that will go wrong in the future and accepting the uncertainty of things. I love not knowing what this year will bring me and how I’ll be one year from now, but it’s difficult at the same time. Well…will be interesting to look back a year from now I guess.

Cheers and go cross something off your bucket list!

Ari

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