A Letter to my Pre-Study Abroad Self

Cortney Cordero
January 15, 2016
Dear pre-Cape Town Cortney, Man, are you standing in a place I wish I could be: the beginning. I know you have some anxiety right now, and I want you to let it go. You have absolutely nothing to worry about or fear. You are going to make lifelong friends, and it won't take that long to do it. Don't, however, let go of the urgency. That urgency is going to be the thing that drives you to do a lot of things, like working with Hillsong Church in Gugulethu, trying new (and at times questionable) food, visit awesome places, and have a handful of amazing surprises that I won't spoil for you... You are going to hike and enjoy it. You are going to ride an elephant like you've always dreamed. You are going to make difference in a few lives. Hear me when I say this; you are going to do it all. I am so blessed by what I know you are standing on the cusp of, and I am so excited for you to jump in. That's why you're lucky to be standing where you're standing. Because despite the fact that you will have moments where you wish your family could see and experience what you are, and those moments will kick you in the gut and take your breath away, you'll also realize that you aren't homesick. You'll start to see that despite missing the people like crazy, you would never go home for a million bucks. Okay, and sidebar, your mom was right about cooking your meals over going out. You are going to do it anyway, but trust me, saving your money for experiences is the best way to make your trip. Don't be afraid to cook, and cook often so that you can go to Rocking the Daisies (weekend-long music festival, and it was BOMB), see those penguins, take a surf lesson, and a thousand other things in between. And don't be afraid of coming home unchanged or unaffected. There's no way that could have ever happened. Just remember how lucky you are, and remember to thank God continually. You'll be just fine, kid. Love always, Post Cape Town (and super jealous of you) Cortney

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Cortney Cordero

<div>Cortney Cordero is a senior majoring in journalism at Hofstra University with a minor in creative writing. This New&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.0080003738403px; line-height: 1.538em;">Yorker has wanted to travel to Africa since she was in Kindergarten. This fall, her dream is finally coming true, and she&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.0080003738403px; line-height: 1.538em;">wants to share her experience with you.</span></div>

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