Here I am sitting on the top floor of Rees Jones at TCU writing one last time in America. Next to me lays the iPad I plan on bringing that is downloading Interstellar, 13 Hours and Into the Wild. It feels strange. I haven’t sat down to watch three movies in years. Actually, I don’t think I have ever watched three movies in one day even when I was an elementary school kid with the flu. I should probably get used to that feeling though. I know these next couple weeks will entail many places, experiences, and emotions that I have never seen or felt before.
Of all the things that could be bothering me about the unknowns approaching, I seem most caught up on the plane ride. I think there are three reasons for this. First, I hate sitting for a long period of time. Even while studying, I have to get up to walk around (go to the bathroom, get a drink, go outside, etc.) almost every half hour because I get restless and lose all focus. On short flights from Omaha to Fort Worth, I can feel my legs screaming to move. What will happen when I am on a flight for 10 hours? I guess I will find a way to deal with it. Secondly, I’m concerned I won’t sleep on the flight. I’m not worried because I might be bored out of my mind for 10 hours if I can’t, but because I want to be able to dive in when I arrive in Europe. I don’t want my body to get run down in the first couple days due to lack of sleep, which could prevent me from wholeheartedly taking in the destinations. Of course I will be tired due to the time change, but I just hope I can stay healthy for the whole trip so I don’t miss out on learning experiences. Lastly, I think I am most concerned about the plane ride is because I haven’t thought much past it. With the past couple weeks of tests and finals, my time and thoughts have been consumed with topics of saponification and bioaccumulation, not my hopes and fears for the trip.
Now that I am less than 24 hours from my flight to Europe, I guess my head is mostly filled with unknowns. Mixed with the unknowns is a definite sense of excitement and anticipation. The past CR alumni have talked about canyoning and the hike at Cinque Terre. I cannot wait. I have always loved exercise and exploring places I have never seen before. At one of the first meetings, I remember someone mentioning that the group had walked over 250 miles in the quick three weeks. Maybe I should have started a training program for preparation? No matter what, spending three weeks abroad with some quality people can’t be bad.
In the past year, I moved to Fort Worth, started college, got involved on campus, and received the grades I had hoped I would. It is time to get out of my comfort zone now. My main goal for this trip is to explore more than I ever have before to get outside the realm of what I know. Despite moving out-of-state for college, I feel comfortable at TCU and I want to really push my boundaries on this trip, especially in my global awareness, citizenship, knowledge, and relationships with others. Luckily, I cannot imagine a better opportunity. Look out Europe. CR9 is coming for you.