This morning I finally stopped waking up with hundreds of anxious thoughts about leaving running through my head, and instead I just woke up excited. I am leaving tomorrow morning for Quito, Ecuador! The last couple days before leaving have been hard because they are filled with times when I have come to the realization that I am really leaving for months to live in a country where people speak a different language. I have been primarily thinking about packing and traveling and making sure I'm ready to go, but now that I'm leaving tomorrow, there is room to consider how great of an adventure I'm about to have. Leaving is going to be hard because I'm going to be leaving behind so many good things, but I know how many good things are about to come.
Every time I get nervous about leaving I stop and think about how much of my life has been spent looking forward to the day I get to travel and see the world outside of my own home. I've really been ready to go for longer than I can remember. As far as leaving the country goes, I have only ever been to Canada (which is 2 hours from my house in Vermont) and to Spain once for a short while so everything about this experience will be new to me. It is reassuring to know that many of the other students in my program will probably feel the same way, and I believe we can all support each other through this journey.
As mentally prepared as I am to go, it is almost impossible to know exactly what to pack. I have so little idea about what the world is like in Ecuador, and what my life will be like that packing has proven to be more difficult than expected. Do they have stores that sell similar things if I need to get toiletries? Will there be places to rent camping equipment or do I somehow pack all of mine? Are they going to have the things I use as vices here at home, like chocolate? Can I at least bring my memory-foam mattress pad?
But the question of all questions is indeed, do they have opthamologists in Quito? Or rather, will they be easily accessible to me at all? I ask this because yesterday I decided to go on a walk in my town's nature trail and a tiny branch snapped back at me and whipped me in the eye. I only have a small scratch in my eye, and it should hopefully be better by tomorrow... but it definitely hasn't made things an easier! Everyone wish me luck navigating three airports tomorrow looking slightly like a pirate!
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<div>My name is Chloe Trifilio. I am an Environmental Science student with a minor in Recreation at Ithaca College in New <span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">York, but for one semester I will be studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador! I am originally from the great state of Vermont </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">where I love to hike, bike, climb, kayak and generally explore the Green Mountains. I am also on the Ultimate Frisbee </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">team and I'm very excited to see how Ecuadorians get down on the field. I hereby promise to use this blog to show </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">everything that I see and do in Ecuador, which will include climbing, playing frisbee, exploring the city and a trip to the </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">Amazon!</span></div>