So it’s time that I finally tell everyone.
I’m moving to Cape Town, South Africa. Well, I’m studying abroad there – for a long time.
I leave for South Africa in 1 month. And I won’t be coming home for 6…
As I let this really sink in, it’s one of the most terrifying and yet absolutely thrilling things I’ve ever written. I’ve been working on getting all of my thoughts – and things – together, but so far, all I can say is that there is a definite process to this whole ‘leaving’ thing.
I call this the stages of pre-departure.
First, I was in denial. A little over half a year ago when I decided to do this, the only thing that ran through my mind was, “Huh. That’d be cool.” There was no real processing of, “This is really happening.” I was not comprehending going to a developing country for 6 months and I definitely was not believing that such an amazing opportunity was knocking on my door.
Then there was anger. I started to realize a few months ago that this was happening. And as I started mentally packing, I realized that I absolutely could not do this. I was not going. Why? Simple. My four favorite coats, twenty shirts, unnecessary amount of pants, and billion “must-have” shoes, will not all fit in my travel pack. So, nope.
Bargaining came next. I bought my ticket. OK. Then I tried to see if my coach seat for the 30 hour flight could be upgraded for low-to-no cost. I checked how many bags I could possibly take because I need all four coats. I emailed Netflix about getting South Africa’s limited viewing, upgraded.
No. Depression set in.
My coats won’t fit. My shoes won’t fit. I’m still flying coach – with my luck, next to someone smelly. I can only bring two bags, maximum. Goodbye unlimited Netflix. Oh, and I have to leave my family, my friends, and my favorite taco truck.
But I soon moved on. Here came acceptance. Biebs will not be sitting next to me on the 30 hour flight. Laundry is a thing. I don’t need TV. I will be living in Cape Town, South Africa. And it’s going to be the most amazing six months of my life – for better and for worse.
I’m terrified, but I’m beyond excited. And I’m ready. I have been preparing for studying abroad in college for as long as I could remember, and while ten years ago I probably wouldn’t have told you that I was going to choose to do this in South Africa, I did. I’ve decided to let myself experience life and culture in a country that I’ve never been to and that is still developing. I’ve decided to allow myself to be changed by what I hear are “beautiful people and beautiful minds.”
I’ve decided that these next six months will change my life.