The adventure begins

Alejandra Sola Ávila
August 8, 2016

Here it is, my last night in Spain. In a few hours I'll be flying towards my final destination—Beijing. Finishing this post has been especially difficult because I couldn't really find the moment to write it. I've been writing down my thoughts and feelings for over a week, but it never seemed to me good enough to publish it, so every time I was determined to do it, I ended up editing my previous lines about the predeparture experience. So, with the clock counting down for my adventure to begin, I've just decided to bring everything together and express what I've been feeling over the past few weeks and how I feel now.

Actually, I'm very excited about telling everybody how everything goes in Beijing, how different life is from what I had known before... You know, I could grasp a few ideas about China during these few years studying its culture, but I truly believe it won't be till I'm there for good, that I will know what Chinese culture is actually all about. I'm thrilled to improve my Chinese skills, to be able to communicate successfully with locals. As the English author and journalist Geoffrey Willans said, 'You can never understand one language until you understand at least two'.

But also, being so far away from home makes me think I'll miss my loved ones. I recently learnt that missing the people you love is normal, whether you are a few miles away from them or on the other side of the world. One can't help to keep loving those people, but I know they care for me and support me at all times. I'll miss my cute little village and I'm sure I'll be comparing it to Beijing all the time. Imagine coming from such a small place, with less than 2,000 inhabitants, and moving to one of the biggest cities in the world. That's what I call a dramatic change!

Farewells were a bit sad. I usually don't like to make them too long, but sometimes, even if they're not long, they can be intense. My grandma is quite sensitive, so she's really worried about me being so far away.

My relatives and I had dinner together in a restaurant. Although I've been living in this small village for almost my whole life, tonight things seemed a bit different. I was staring out the window on our way back home from the restaurant, and thousands of thoughts came to my mind. The sky was dark and beautiful, as it usually is, and I could perfectly see the stars shining thousands of millions of miles away. I suddenly thought I'd be soon in a different place, but in which I could watch the very same stars and sky.

Although I'm nervous and sometimes worried and insecure about situations that are not quite likely to happen, I still maintain a positive attitude towards this amazing experience to come. I cannot think of a more rewarding experience in which I get to know so many people from so many countries and can grow personally and professionally as much as in this study abroad program.

This will truly be a life-changing experience and a big challenge in many ways. It's not my first time living abroad, but it is the first time so far away from home and in such a different country from Spain. I really can't wait for this experience to begin, I'm gonna make the most out of it for sure!

¡Hasta pronto España! 你好,北京!


Alejandra Sola Ávila

<div>21, from Southern Spain. Translation and Interpreting student in University of Granada.</div>
<div>Now IES Abroad student. Currently living in Beijing and studying in Bei Wai University.&nbsp;</div>
<div>Passionate about books, poetry, cinema, good music and travelling. I believe I was born to travel the world while helping others.</div>
<div>&#39;Not all who wander are lost&#39;.</div>

2016 Fall
Home University:
Universidad de Granada
Chinese Language
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