Aero: Ayla Sandifur – France 2015 – My Expectations
The fact that I have this opportunity to travel to France is absolutely insane to me. I still haven’t fully processed that I will be in a foreign country in a matter of no time. This is an amazing opportunity that I couldn’t pass up and I could never forgive myself if I didn’t take advantage of it. I have only traveled out of New York to three other states, in which is no comparison to traveling to Europe. This experience is going to include many firsts for me and I can’t begin to explain how excited I am to try new things, as well as stepping out of my comfort zone. I have so many expectations and hopes for this travel experience and I’m sure they will all be exceeded beyond belief.
I am ready to experience a completely different culture and lifestyle that is the opposite of what is natural for me. I am expecting to really push myself and give myself a challenge that I have never had before. All of my life, I have had to have a push or shove to make myself try something new or different because I am so uncomfortable with what I am not familiar with. I am expecting that this experience will give me a chance to step outside of my shell so that I can experience life without being afraid of trying something new. I am expecting a huge challenge to adjust in a new and different setting and to form new friendships that can last a lifetime. I’m excited to step away from being a picky eater and to try new, delicious food without judging it. I’m expecting a change in daily routine and having a challenge adjusting to the time difference between France and New York. I do not speak one French. Although, I can download apps and bring a dictionary, I can pretty much still expect to be confused and dumbfounded by what they are talking about. I absolutely cannot wait to attend classes with my host student. I can’t even imagine going to school in France. The schools and classes seem to be so high end and disciplined that it almost sounds like a private school. I’m expecting the students are so much better behaved and disciplined than students where I went to high school. I’m really excited to see the city lit up at night and visit all these different monuments and museums that I have heard so much about.
I have never been away from my family for more than 3 days. I am not sure if I will be affected by the lack of communication, but I am more than willing to try and let go while I am away. I have never traveled to Europe, let alone ever been on a plane before. I am expecting to be extremely nervous, because I know I will be freaking out about being in the air and seeing nothing but blue skies and fluffy white clouds. I can’t even imagine myself being on a plane. I also have the expectation and assumption that I will be getting zero sleep due to being so nervous and anxious at the same exact time.
I have never thought that in a million years, later in life I can tell my children I traveled to France at such a young age. My parents always told me growing up, that traveling is something you do after you get a degree but before you settle down and get married then have a family. If it wasn’t for me taking history last semester, I would have never had this once in a lifetime opportunity. I have done absolutely everything I can to ensure myself that I am going on this trip, even if it means putting myself in debt. Traveling and study abroad mean the entire world to me. It is not every day an ordinary person can say that they have visited France and anyone who has the opportunity to go anywhere in the world, should definitely take it! This is an experience I am expecting to open my horizons and let me see the world in a completely different perspective. I am also expecting to become a better person with more knowledge than I had before this experience. This is something that can change a person forever.