I booked my flights yesterday. I bought travel insurance. I turned in the last of my paperwork. Tomorrow, I will get my ISIC card.
I will be living in a dorm in Madrid for the month of July.
I am excited and also terrified, and this blog will be all about both of those experiences. I am not your typical study abroad student, as a 37-year-old autistic woman, mother of teens, pastor’s wife, etc… I have no idea what to expect from my experience.
So far, one thing I have found is that the “student discounts” and other great deals I heard about aren’t always available to me. Most airlines cut off their student discounts at age 33. This makes no sense, because a student is a student, but it is what it is. A metro pass in Madrid would cost me four times as much as my fellow students, and it would not cover the territory that theirs will cover. My travel insurance is double what I was told to expect.
I am determined to be a pioneer in this. Maybe by bringing these things to the attention of companies and organizations, future non-traditional students will have a less expensive experience.
My goals for this blog over the summer are twofold. First, I want to share my experiences with all of you. Second, I want all of you to hold me accountable.
See, my social anxiety and general anxiety mean I will often opt out of cool activities and events. My instinct will be to hide in my dorm room with a book and classwork. However, I don’t want to come home from Spain and know only my University campus. I want to have done things. I want to have shopped in street markets, sipped coffee at sidewalk cafes, orders tapas and sangria in a local bar, visited the zoo, watched the bulls run, etc… I want to experience my experiences.
So, if you don’t hear from me. If you see my Instagram feed is full of views from my dorm, then send me a message and tell me to get off my duff and go have adventures. Even if I have no one to adventure with, being the only nearly-40-year-old student, I will walk the streets of Madrid, ride the metro, go shopping, order meals out, see the sights.
I’m not ready at all, but I am going to do it anyway.
For a long time, my mantra has been, “Show up scared.”