At first it seemed like a place strange and intimidating to me. Hundreds of thoughts, ideas, and desires fleeted through my wandering mind as I searched the vast airport for some form of familiarity. Words foreign to me; unfamiliar, flooded my subconscious as I nervously attempted to understand the language. But I wasn’t afraid; it wasn’t like walking into a pitch-black night with no light or source of guidance. I was anxious, anxious for my use of Spanish to blossom, to truly experience this grand new country of Argentina in the best of ways. It was as though I had stepped into a huge room with no floor: I could see where I was and where I should go, but I needed to find my own way to cross the distance.
I had seen them in Atlanta, Georgia, sitting in the terminal seats just as I was. The girl was stunning, and the boy she was with looked foreign but I wasn’t sure, he was also a person strikingly beautiful. Already I felt intimidated by the people I was seeing away from home. From the beginning they struck me as curious beings, people that had something waiting or hidden from my knowledge for me to explore. We were on the same flight, in the same row on the plane. Upon disembarking into the huge Buenos Aires airport I found myself following in their steps to the exact same location. Their names were Emil, from Denmark, and Rut, from Sweden, and I would be with them for the next seven days for an orientation week in Rosario, Argentina. Finding this source of acquaintance gave me strength and a new sense of excitement for my journey. We all were here in this new country to live and experience something completely different and fresh from what we knew. Emma was from Holland and came with three other people to also live in Argentina. Sitting and chatting in the tightly packed airport made my start even easier as I soon realized I might have many great relationships with these new people. It became easier to see that befriending people outside of my familiar country would not be as intimidating as I had once thought.
The sense of loss and hurt I had felt from leaving my parents for six months in the Rochester Airport began to sway. But at first it was a painful weight in my heart and entire body. Combined with nerves and fear of what was to come, this weight exhausted me and produced great floods of tears as I started out. They stood in the distance helpless, anxious, and sad. That vision of my entire family felt like a mirage, it wasn’t happening. I wasn’t really going to leave them for six months was I? Soon enough though, it became clear that I indeed was off into the world at 17 years old to start my life. And this fueled me, the sense of loss developed into one of great excitement and curiosity for what was in store. The feeling was profound and so much more powerful that pain because I used it to empower myself and remind myself of the confidence I had. I was finally off! I did it. I left my small town, my source of support and familiarity that I had known all my life, for what the world had in store for me. And although it may be one of the hardest planes to cross in my life, I am ready. I feel the power to be independent and push myself out into this new and promising life!