I have finally made it. Sitting in the Atlanta airport waiting to board my flight to Madrid, I let out a sigh of relief. My family has left, and I have nothing to do before my flight but wait and relax. The difficult part is over. After days of packing and making sure all my ducks are in a row for this trip, I am finally almost there. I have been dreaming of studying abroad in Spain for years. I grew up with a Spanish professor for a mother and have gone on multiple study abroad trips to Mexico, Costa Rica, and Peru. Now, not only am I studying abroad with my own university and not my mom’s, I’m also getting the opportunity to go to the country I have always wanted to visit most. I chose this trip in particular because I am only a freshman, and I want to start out with a fairly short study abroad (one month) before I do a semester abroad later on. Going abroad without my family is new and exciting, but I know exactly what to do thanks to my background with studying abroad. By now I am an expert at packing. I have only a carry on and a backpack with me for a month in Spain. I have all the clothes I’ll need, my passport, money, and other necessities like toiletries, electronic devices, and chargers. I’m surprised I was able to fit everything I need into two small bags. It makes traveling in the airport much easier. As far as mental preparation for this trip goes, I haven’t done much. I have very few ideas and expectations about what Spain is like. I just know the itinerary, the courses I’m taking, the professors from UA, and a few other students on the trip. I want to go into this experience without any expectations so that I am open to whatever happens. However, I do expect to experience as many aspects of Spain and its culture as possible. I also really hope that this trip will improve my Spanish. I have a high level of proficiency in Spanish, but my goal in life is to be fluent, and I hope that this trip will get me closer to reaching that goal. I’m feeling a little nervous, but mostly excited. I’m sure this will be a life-changing experience, and I can’t wait to get there soon.