Salamanca, here I come!

Anna Braman
May 29, 2019

Hi! My name is Anna, and I am a rising junior at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Nerves and excitement swirl around my mind as I prepare for my upcoming adventure in Salamanca, Spain. I still don't know if I am more excited or nervous, but I know that in a few days, all my concerns and unanswered questions will be resolved when I land in Madrid and meet the people I will be spending the next month with.

I have spent the past several days staring at my suitcase wondering what to put in it, and more importantly, what not to put in it. I live in Massachusetts, and the weather can go from 45 degrees one day to 90 the next. I don't even remember what consistent day-to-day weather feels like, and it's putting a damper on my packing endeavors. But seeing my trusty weather app tell me that it will be between 75 and 90 degrees in Salamanca during the month of June keeps me going. While I know I need to pack for warmer weather, my challenges persist. I am a self-certified over-packer. I go through my closet and see a shirt I haven’t worn in three years and say to myself, “Maybe I’ll wear this is Spain!” There is a 1% chance I will wear that shirt I haven’t touched in three years, but that 1% ensures a space for it in my suitcase. Similar thoughts like, “What if I need this?” or “What if I can’t find shampoo in Spain?” circulate around my head, and the cycle of over-packing continues. While I know that my over-packing tendencies won’t be stopping anytime soon, I know for a fact that I will have everything I need. I can also rely on my two very handy feline packing assistants (featured here for your viewing pleasure).

Once I have packing out of the way, I can start to stress about other things, like getting to the IES Abroad meeting point in the Madrid airport without ending up in a different country all together. Or I can stress about getting a SIM card so I can stay in touch with the people I care about back home. There are so many things I can worry about, but I know once I get home at the end of June, the small details that keep me up at night right now won’t matter at all because the time I spend in Salamanca this summer will (hopefully) be one of the best experiences I have in my young adult life!

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