A Girl Overseas is a series written by contributor Abby Rasweiler, as she settles in Palma de Mallorca, Spain during a semester abroad. Abby will offer her own stories & recommendations for adjusting in a new country, one glass of vino at a time.
You know that feeling you get in your stomach when you’re riding a roller coaster, as you inch over the top of the peak and you suddenly switch from rising to falling? That feeling where your stomach is bursting out of your throat and you’re not even sure if you’re going to survive the next five seconds. As I sit in seat 10C on an airliner halfway over the Atlantic Ocean, that’s the feeling that I can’t seem to get rid of.
For months, I have been preparing to study abroad in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. In reality though, I’ve been preparing for this trip for much longer than a few months. The preparation started long before attending all the pre-departure meetings and compiling all of the infuriating minutiae that goes into getting a Spanish visa. I have wanted to study abroad for as long as I knew what that phrase meant.
Growing up in a small New Jersey town and going to college at a small liberal arts school in Massachsettes has been wonderful, but has only served to show me a small fraction of the world. I’m dying to explore other corners of the world and figure out why Americans don’t have a daily siesta.
On the other hand, there has been a force even stronger than worldly curiosity that has been driving me – the need to understand not only others but also myself. The need to find out what I’m made of, how I will face the challenges that lie ahead, and who I am without all the noise that surrounds me at home. So, in search of all this, I’m off to sunny beaches, warm sunshine, and plenty of mojitos.
As the flight monitor on the screen in front of me shows a tiny little plane slowly inching away from the East Coast and towards the Mediterranean Sea, that roller coaster feeling is still going strong. All the waiting, preparing, talking to everyone who would tell me about their time abroad, and watching that special glint in their eyes as they recant stories of the “best time of their lives” – I’m leaving that all behind. I’m going over the peak and starting the free fall.
So, on A Girl Overseas, I hope to offer up my own stories, my own recommendations, and my own tales of fortune and misfortune, one glass of vino at a time.