My anxiety about leaving the United States for the first time rose to an all time high. I debated not even going. I could simply send an email cancelling an experience I could never get back. I would have been stealing from myself. The email did not get sent, not even written. By doing nothing, I made a choice. A choice to go to Guatemala. A chance to be immersed in a foreign place and culture.

Once I entered the airport, I let go of all of my anxiety. There was no reason to be worried about something outside of my control. I came to a realization. I am going to go to Guatemala, no matter how nervous I could become. Finding classmates with smiles waving me over to greet them in the airport, solidified my decision to let go of my anxiety. I was not alone anymore.

Landing in Guatemala was surreal. Instantly hit with the chaos of 60 minutes of a customs line and using my passport for the first time. Stepping out onto the street of a foreign country. Getting asked to buy decorative toy cars from a random person on the street in Spanish. My head spinning from trying to process all of the different stimuli coming through my eyes, ears, and nose. The anxiety sneaks in again, but as I look around at my classmate’s ecstatic expressions on their faces it dissipates. I remember that I am not alone in this experience. I am glad to be in Guatemala, ready for a brand new experience.

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