Every blog, university prospectus and 4th year linguist describes the year abroad as the best year of your life. That’s a lot of pressure on next year.
Luckily I’ve realised now that the year abroad may not be that amazing. There’ll probably be days when I want to cry and come home but won’t be able to. There’ll be days when I regret my decision to go so far away, or days when I regret my entire degree.
One of the most helpful and grounding pieces I’ve been given is this: Your year abroad will be amazing. But only once you’re home. While you’re there, you just won’t realise it. And I’m pretty sure that’s true, as that was my experience with au pairing last summer. While I was there, it was a tough and tiring experience. But now I’m home, I wish I could go back every day. Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?
This in mind, I’ve decided to do my best to get the most out of my year abroad in Mexico, after all, it definitely will be a once in a lifetime experience, whether good or bad. I’ve also been told to never put fluffy, unmeasurable goals on a bucket list, such as “make friends” or “get fluent”, as not only is it hard to know if you’ve met these, but they also don’t tell you how to really meet them.
So here is my big year abroad to-do list, which I will probably add to (and hopefully tick off!) throughout the year!
- Find a language tandem partner to speak Spanish with and meet them at least once a fortnight.
- Take up salsa lessons. Or if your two left feet get in the way too much, then zumba will do.
- Travel the country.
- Mexico City
- Travel Latin America (if I can afford it!!)
- See a toucan in Costa Rica
- Visit Machu Picchu
- Take cool photos at the Bolivian salt flats
- Read a German book.
- Enquire at the French School about lessons.
- Learn to cook a traditional Mexican meal.
- Join some sort of sport club.
- Write a blog post once a month!