El Cóndor Pasa

Danielle Twichel
September 26, 2017


If time flies, then time abroad is like an Andean Condor. Time has a ten-foot wingspan, time glides at 125 miles per hour. Time doesn’t land to rest.

What the heck guys, it’s already almost October! While I know that the pace of study abroad is expeditive, it has once again caught me off guard. This has me reflecting on the cause of this phenomena, and I have boiled it down to the fact that life during an exchange is extremely condensed.

Perhaps in “average” day-to-day life, days pass slower  because the ratio of normality/excitement is more balanced. However, study abroad (especially in Ecuador) presents excitement constantly. Think about it: even the mundane, like what’s for lunch, is probably new and different. On top of that, one is encouraged to take advantage of new experiences, meaning that things like scuba diving, canyoning, salsa dancing, etc. become the new weekend norm. No complaints here! With so much to do, less time is spent waiting for the next adventure...rather, adventure is every day. No wonder we lose track of time.

Also, time launches into hyperspeed when it comes to relationships. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are forming connections abroad at an accelerated rate. With no time to waste on superficial bonds, we go from strangers to travel partners with a shake of the hand. This may catch you by surprise- when suddenly you can’t imagine yourself without the group of friends you just met a month and a half ago. One minute you are introducing yourselves, the next, you’re jumping off waterfalls together. While this is a beautiful thing, it certainly plays part in the momentum of months.

Finally, knowledge and growth advances at a quicker rate while abroad. This one is a given. Still, it’s worth mentioning that the gain in perspective is accumulated on a daily basis, as one is constantly exposed to new customs, languages, methods of interaction, and more. In order to integrate into a culture, it's necessary to learn these things quickly! It seems like only yesterday that I was struggling to get a hold of colloquial phrases.  Now here I am, accidentally letting Ecuadorian expletives slip at dinner. (Oops).

Overall, a condensed experience makes for a distorted, rapid, passing of time. This doesn't mean that one should stress, however. It's just incentive to appreciate every moment - Even when feeling homesick, anxious, insecure, or whatever it may be. Now, I will refrain from using “yolo” here as a signoff... but I will say “Chulla vida!”

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Danielle Twichel

<p>I'm Dani - a leftie, a henna artist, and a wannabe world-traveler. My passion for exploring began when I was 10: taking inspiration from Indiana Jones, I fancied myself "Indiana Dani." Ecuador will be my second time studying abroad, as I spent a semester last year in Granada, Spain. I'm hooked, and hope to one day work in this industry!</p>

Home University:
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA
Hispanic Studies
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