In four months, you’re not going to be an entirely different person. You’re still going to be very much yourself. You’re still going to mess up your order when you’re getting coffee. You’re going to be a lot better at understanding what people are saying, but you’re not going to be in any way, shape, or form great at speaking castellano.
But, I can tell you, you will make it! I’m still in one piece. And, looking back on these four months, I now have an incredible collection of experiences under my belt.
I’ve sat in cafes all over Buenos Aires and watched hundreds of people walked by. I have learned to use the part public part privatized transportation system in this massive city. I have taken classes with other international students—French, German, and English. I have taken a ferry to Uruguay to spend a weekend at the beach. In Mendoza, I learned all about the process of growing grapes and making wine. I have explored Santiago and the colorful Valparaiso. I have had my fill of empanadas and milanesa (and the best Italian food I have ever encountered. I have stood at the top of Iguazu Falls—straight out of a nature documentary. Amazing things.
I’m finally starting to realize the world is actually kind of small, and if you put your mind to it, you can go anywhere! Don’t take yourself so seriously. You can go drink wine in the Andes. You can go see the largest waterfalls in the world. You can travel across the world on a whim. Try to learn as much of the language as you can! Immerse yourself in the culture. You can try something new for lunch every day. You can talk to strangers, and chances are, they’ll have interesting things to tell you!
The world is truly at your fingertips.
And, it is scary. You miss your family. You miss your native language. You miss your friends back home. You miss your sister’s graduation from high school and your boyfriend’s. Sometimes it really sucks. Nothing stops because you left—but neither do you. You aren’t a different person, but maybe you’ve picked up new pieces of your personality and your ability to just go places and experience new things. You’ve learned more about yourself. You’ve made a home to go anywhere.