Day 0: Enough to Want to Miss My Flight / by Sarah Kakusho

Packing took all of last night. I ended up switching my bags twice before I actually stuck with the third one, first from bag to two bags, to a different bag.

One thing to remember. Vacuum pack bags are a godsend. Use them, get them, but don’t over-pack with them or else you’ll go overweight.

So, I finished packing 30 minutes before I was to leave the house. Great, right? But then, Nyamada called me and reminded me that I needed to take my Omamori. I was so glad she called cuz I seriously would’ve forgotten it.

Spent an hour sitting with the family before my departure outside the security area, and it was…fun? It’s interesting that only during these moments you really realize how much your family has been there for you. And it’s also interesting how much people mean to you, also. I met with Nyamada and her mom when I got to ATL. I think knowing that I am not alone in wanting to just skip over study abroad and make it January made me feel much better about actually going.

As I left the security gates and turning back to look at the hundreds of other people taking off on their own journeys, I had a sudden epiphany. It’s not as if I’m leaving for good. If anything, the time I’m spending in Buenos Aires is a single second compared to the amount of time I will be spending the rest of my life. So, to not waste a single moment, I have to cherish all that I do during study abroad.

This became much clearer when I actually boarded the plane from ATL to BA. I saw two Japanese people sitting across from me, and all they knew how to say was “hola” and “gracias”…maybe a few words in between, and yet they were going to Buenos Aires just for the heck of it. If they could do that, why couldn’t I? I have the opportunity to study in a different country. I should feel lucky.

Study abroad is supposed to be a life-changing experience, or at least that’s what people say, but somehow, I feel like I’m getting kicked out of my nest just a tad bit too early. But, I feel that if I’m able to get through these 156 days, I can get through anything. I think I’ll have the courage to do anything without hesitation. So I took the jump. The jump that’s supposed to mean something by the end of it. We’ll see.

So long, America.