Tuesday, June 12, 2012


3,626, is the distance in miles, that separates Strasburg, Pennsylvania from Arroyo de la Encomienda, Spain. I cannot even begin to comprehend the distance between my two homes. I still am in shock, not just by the distance between my homes, but also the fact that I am leaving the states in just over 80 days. It hasn't quite hit me yet that all of this is actually happening, and so soon. Everything still feels surreal from simply being accepted to study abroad months ago, to having little details such as host family and placement, travel itinerary, and the complicated visa process.

Speaking of my host family...I could not be any more excited to have three siblings! Here at home, I only have one younger brother, and we are very close in age. I always wanted a sister, and I can happily say I will have two soon. Next year will be completely different having a sister the same age, and two drastically younger siblings as well. I am keeping in close contact with my host family, mainly through email. I occasionally chat with my host sister (via Tuenti), who has been very helpful. I also had the opportunity to skype with my host family a couple days ago. At first I was reluctant because I was so nervous, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The only problem was the language barrier between us; although that will surely change when I get to Spain!

Not a minute goes by without thinking what my future year will be like- full of smiles, tears, laughter, embarrassment, bliss, and pure confusion. There will be times where I don't want to go home and also times where I will just want to give up. One thing is certain though- studying abroad is my dream, and I want this more than anything. Next year would have still been a distant dream if it wasn't for the support of my friends and family.

Olivia- I couldn't thank you enough for all the support and encouragement you have given me in my decision to study abroad. I wish you would have had the chance to study in France like you wanted, but I know you will be there soon! I'm so happy that we became close friends this year, and I will never forget our weekly sleepovers! By the way, I absolutely can't wait to see you when our class visits Spain in March!

Mckenna- I still can't believe we're this good of friends, and you know why! I wouldn't change it for anything though. Thank you for all those times where we would speak Spanish and no one would understand us...even those little practicing sessions will help me out. I am so glad you were there with me to witness my freak out when I got my host family, because I wouldn't have anyone better to celebrate the moment with! I will see you in Spain (with your roommate Olivia), don't worry!

Erin- You have been my very best friend since the start of middle school, and that will never ever change. I know you were doubtful of my decision to study abroad at first, but I couldn't thank you enough for constantly sticking by my side. We have been through so much together, and you mean everything to me! Promise me that you will keep me updated and we will definitely skype often when I'm away!

Breakfast Club- Each and every one of you mean so much to me. I consider all of you to be my best friends, and you are the people I will be missing the very most when I'm abroad. I have never had a group of friends where everyone can act so weird together and think it's perfectly normal. We have been through so many ups and downs together throughout our entire high school career, but we always seem to make it and pull through! I can certainly say, there is never a dull moment in our group! I appreciate the support and confidence you all give me, even if it's through sarcasm and side comments. It's pretty amazing to say that we have been going out for breakfast every Friday morning for two years now. I am so blessed to have every one of you in my life, and I don't know what I would do without you!

Alec- As much as it kills me to admit, you are the best brother in the entire world! Of course we argue and disagree occasionally, but most of the time we don't..and I couldn't ask for anything better. Thank you so much for dealing with my Spain talk every single day, but more importantly- thank you for constantly reminding me how proud you are and what a great opportunity all of this is. I wish you the very best of luck during your first year of high school without me, but I know you will do just great. If you ever need help with Spanish homework, I'll only be a skype call away! Also, keep thinking hard about what we always talk about, maybe a year abroad is in your future too! I love you!

Mom & Mark- You are the two most important people in my life, and I couldn't have gone this far without you both. Thank you for realizing my dream is a once in a lifetime opportunity and letting me go for it. You truly do not understand how much that means to me. Thank you both for the full support and guidance you gave throughout the last year. Thank you mom, for the multiple phone calls during the day about random Spanish facts or more ideas for my going away party. Without either of you, I wouldn't be accomplishing my dream, and a simple 'thank you' will never gratify that.

Soon enough I will be at home, 3,626 miles away from home. I will be living my ultimate dream, thanks to everyone who made it possible in the first place! I love you all more than you can ever imagine.

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