You’re Going Where?!?

Blog07_tikal2 Guest blogger Lynne R. guides us through four weeks of immersion at our Antigua Spanish school

There are so many things to worry about when planning to spend a month of your life in a foreign country. I'd like to say that I'm walking around with a skip in my step and a song in my heart, cool as a cucumber, carefree and ready for come what may. But I'm not. And I'm a little embarrassed to admit it. Now, I consider myself to be fairly well-seasoned by life, mind you. I'm no coward. I've been a performer at Walt Disney World for nearly ten years. Not a job for the faint of heart.

You know how tourists can be. You've been one.

I've been to Colombia. I've driven in Ireland. I'll turn forty-five this year. Again, not for the timid.

So what has me so worried about spending a month in Antigua, Guatemala? Well…

First, there's the homestay. Will the family like me? Will I like them? Those of you who have undertaken this venture before have no doubt asked yourself the same question. 

Then, there's mother nature. I'm a Floridian, so hurricanes don't scare me. Bring it, lady. But earthquakes? Uhhhh…..what? I suddenly wish I had grown up in California and watched grainy instructional videos in the 3rd grade about how to duck and cover, or stop drop and roll, or whatever it is you're supposed to do. I hope running out of the house screaming in terror is an earthquake survival technique. Cuz that's my plan.

And lastly, there's the litany of garden-variety fears. Will I like the food? Will I get sick? Will I make an idiot of myself? Will I learn anything? Will I have fun? Will I miss my plane? 

All these fears, both rational and irrational, have crossed my mind. Most are of my own creation, but some are the courtesy of helpful friends and family. "You're going where?!? Isn't there Dengue Fever in Guatemala?" Thanks. Hadn't thought about that.

Well, I'm here to say that despite the plague of worries, big and small, it does not dampen the genuine excitement I feel as the date approaches to leave home and embark on this adventure. It heightens it. And it doesn't make my smile any less genuine when friends and coworkers remark how courageous they think I am for doing this. Because they're right. Sure. Not "rescue a bus-load of children" courageous, but in its own way, it is.  After all, what is an act of courage? It isn't acting without fear. Courage is acting in spite of your fear.

They have no idea.

So it is with a heart full of wonder, anticipation and uncertainty that I say, before I have even left my home, everyone should undertake this kind of adventure. Just because it IS a little scary.

See all of Lynne R.'s blogs

Find out more about our Antigua Spanish school

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