When I walked into the airport this morning I reach into my bag to get out my boarding pass and it took me a minute because my hands were shaking. I was filled with so many emotions. I was sad to say goodbye to my close friends and family which I am so blessed to have rooting me on. My younger brother walked up to be first thing this morning still half asleep and said, “Kayla, I really am going to miss you while you’re in Africa.” Breaking my heart in two pieces right off the bat. I was filled with happiness because flying is such an amazing experience and for me anyway it has meant that I am either going on an adventure or I’m going home, both equally exciting under the right circumstances. But most of all it was nerve wracking to be face to face with a dream. And as I walked up to check my bag I watched my dream come true. It is really happening.
The same feeling hit me again as I stared out the airplane window and watched Kansas City disappear in the clouds. I got teary eyed and smiled to myself as I realized again that all the hard work is finally paying off and now the only thing to do is to enjoy this amazing experience and be sure to be present in every moment of it.
This morning surprised me. As much as it was an emotional roller coaster it wasn’t nearly as chaotic as I thought it was going to be. My initial thought was that I was going to be scared to death to leave behind the familiarity of home and go on a trip across the world. The only thing I can attribute my surprisingly calm demeanor to is preparation. For the past six months I have done nothing but prepare myself for this day. I researched packing lists and made note of things I hadn’t thought of. I researched all the airports I have layovers at to prepare myself for spending hours watching people walk (and sprint) by trying to make it to their flights on time. I took notes during the departure orientation for both my home study abroad program and ISEP’s webinar. I can attribute a lot of my preparedness to what I learned in the information given to me. One flight down and three more to go until I land in Fez. I feel confident about my travels and excited to walk across the beautiful campus of Al Akhawayn University.
My next flight leaves in an hour! My first transatlantic flight! Barcelona here I come!