The first question most people asked when I told them my study abroad choice was “Why South Africa?”. I stumbled over my answer, was vague or generic and couldn’t really articulate why. I had to I think about it on my own time so that I could respond appropriately, and to be able remind myself of the reasons as well. Now when people ask, I’m ready. And because you’re reading this blog, you might like an answer too.
I chose South Africa because it was different. Because it was the bolder, more challenging choice. Because of the volunteer opportunties, because of the wildlife, the culture. And because my heart was set on it. For those of you who don’t know, the study abroad application is a bitch. It felt like taking an extra class this past semester, the amount of paperwork and preparation. It was stressful. It was scary. You only have to ask my parents to know I had a total meltdown when I was applying for the program. And also one when I was accepted. Oh and maybe even another one after that. Reflecting back I realize the process is almost an unintentional way of weeding out the people whose hearts aren’t really into it. it would’ve been easy to back out, plenty of excuses to explain why not, and I can’t say I didn’t consider it. Through the support of my family and friends and through my own determination, I pushed myself to get it done, to not be scared, and to not back out. And here we are. A little over two weeks away until I am boarding a plane and living in South Africa for five months.
I’m excited about this blog. I’m excited to share my adventures with whoever so chooses to read them. They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. I’ve taken the step. Shenanigans will ensue.