I have arrived in Ecuador, and I am mesmerized.
The weather here sits comfortably around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and there’s always a cool breeze. It’s so much like Lima, Peru, which is probably why I am partial to it.
This morning, I got up and went outside to walk around and was immediately captivated by the beautiful mountains and feathery clouds. The environment here is so tranquil, the people so warm and friendly.
I have orientation tomorrow, and after that I’ll start school on Monday. And all of this— the speaking Spanish with my host family, the wandering around Quito, the delicious meals, the mountains that are so beautifully visible behind my home— is surreal. To those of you (Global Fellows in particular) who are planning a semester or year abroad, you must accept the fact that you can never prepare yourself for how you are going to feel when you step off the plane in your new country. You cannot prepare for the way your stomach will feel a little tight as you collect your luggage from the baggage claim or how you’ll catch your breath when you see your host family waiting for you at the airport. And the calm feeling that will overcome you when you finally arrive at your house, apartment, or hostel? Indescribable.
If there is one thing that I have learned thus far, it’s that doing scary things builds your confidence immensely. No matter where you are or what you are doing, push yourself to try those things that make your heart race a little. I promise that it’s worth it.
On a similar note, I was reading an amazing novel recently and recalled this quote. I think it fits well here:
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
― Frank Herbert, Dune