An American Abroad: Study abroad trip introduces new experiences, friends

Studying abroad has simultaneously been one of the most nerve-racking and best decisions I think I could make in my young adult life.
I always thought that traveling can give you lessons in life that can’t be taught without exploring the different cultures. So, when I had to apply for my residence permit to live for six months in Sweden and book my ticket to fly, I felt numb due to the mixture of excitement, nervousness and most of all exhilaration. My emotions were completely overwhelming.
At the airport, my family was quite emotional, and I couldn’t talk without stuttering or even crying when hugging them goodbye. All I could do was bite my nails and watch them with a nervous smile.
When I finally arrived in Karlstad, Sweden, I felt a wonderful sense of adventure, even though it had been a total of 27 hours traveling in a whole, and jetlagged seemed to be a term that couldn’t quite describe my exhaustion.
Finally, I got to my apartment, and my host introduced me to my floor mates from Spain, France, Mexico, and Germany. I smiled and try to pronounce their names while they laughed at my horrible attempts to sound exactly like them.
Among the variety of things they said, the main one was: “Are you ready to drink with us yet?”
I eventually went to a party to meet all of the past and current exchange students (my jetlag seemed to have vanished by that point).  I met people from Iceland to Wales to Spain to El Salvador.
I was completely and utterly intrigued by every single individual, because with every handshake, there was something about them that I could learn, whether it was their culture or broadening my horizons with new viewpoints.
When I finally convinced myself to sleep, I couldn’t help but smile, because I know this journey is going to be amazing for me to grow in many aspects while traveling.
This new feeling of independence, freedom and wanderlust has given me a sense of excitement I have never experienced. The adventure will continue for next week once I survive syllabus week.

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