Stepping out of the airport and up onto the bus in Guatemala City, I inhaled the foreign air. I felt the season of firsts finally beginning while anticipating more to come.

First time outside of the United States. First time seeing a mountain. First time seeing a volcano. First time studying abroad. First time doing journalism outside of Minnesota.

I approached McKenzie Van Loh and asked if I could have the window seat. She gladly obliged, and I plopped down into my seat.

I could hardly contain my excitement. Actually, I couldn’t contain it at all. My energy was annoying to my student peers as they tried to relax after spending hours crammed inside a plane.

Meanwhile, I opened my window all the way and stuck my head out, letting the cool Guatemalan air hit my face and nostrils.

My mind struggled to wrap itself around the fact that just hours prior, I stood at Delta Airlines, confused as to why Scott said to meet at Delta when we were flying American. Or so I thought. We were actually flying United, but the point is that I made it to Guatemala safe and sound.

After an hour long bus ride from Guatemala City to Antigua, we arrived at our Hotel Quinta de Las Flores. The sweet smell of flowers floated gently in the air as we stepped into the complex.

Scampering up the steps of Casita Uno, I turned right to see a king size bed in the middle of the room. Abby motioned for me to follow her, taking a left into the second room which contained two twin sized beds and a ladder leading up to a third twin sized bed.

“I call that one!” I said, pointing at the loft bed. I always wanted to sleep in a loft bed.

I crammed my giant suitcase into the corner of the closet, hanging up my Columbia winter jacket and Mexican Baja hoodie on the hangers.

After taking my pills and plugging in my phone, I gingerly climbed the ladder of my new loft bed. My first bed in a new country. My first adventure in foreign land. My home for the next three weeks.