Spain will be my home for six weeks while I attend classes in Granada and tour the country for almost two weeks. What was once just a minuscule possibility in Spanish 221 has become an amazing experience that I will begin in just a few days. The only thing from stopping me now is my flight anxiety.
I have traveled before: in high school, I crossed the U.S. via plane to Hawaii, where we were invited to march in a Thanksgiving Day Parade. The first flight, about an hour or so, went well enough, but as soon as the second flight came around, my confidence began to deteriorate and the anxiety overwhelmingly took over my fight or flight responses. But on a plane, there is nowhere to go.
Since that particular flight, I have grown in excitement for the landing in Madrid and cringe at the sight of my plane ticket. My carry-on and personal bag are full of distractions: an iPod for music, my textbook for classes, an amazing journal made just for travelers going to Spain, my boyfriend’s hoodie, practice worksheets to brush up on my Español, and multiple other trinkets to keep me calm when all medicine fails.Ironically, packing has only exasperated this fear of mine, because as soon as all of my bags are packed, the sooner I will be boarding the plane that has recently haunted me into anxiety-dwelling research.
If I am so scared to travel to Spain via aircraft, why I am still continuing this journey?
The concept of studying abroad sparked joy in my mind and my heart. Studying a language that one I that would like to become fluent in is not something that will happen overnight, and probably not in six weeks, either. But it is what I want to do, even if I must travel across the globe on a plane, I have everything I might possibly need to get on that plane, and I will not let my anxiety stop me.
Grace Englehart is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Creative Writing and Spanish. Grace is spending the summer term abroad with the faculty-led UMKC Spanish Program in Granada, Spain.
Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.