Landing in Iceland for my layover, I stumbled around the airport, interpreting the signs written in Icelandic, reminding me I wasn't in Michigan. I became acutely aware of my foreign situation and my body was tensing up. Already anxious about catching my layover, I scrambled in whatever direction made sense. I breathed deeply reminding myself that by studying abroad I had asked the universe for these moments of stress and confusion, and there were going to be many more along the way.
I needed to embrace my fear!
Embrace my confusion!
I ended up in the wrong terminal...and I didn't find out until we were boarding.
I raced down the hall and up the stairs to the screens. Turns out there were two airlines flying to Dublin around the same time. I located my gate and sprinted like a cheetah. My flight didn't even leave for an hour (which I would've known if I'd read my ticket), but I planted myself by the gate door for the whole time on high alert for any more curveballs.
We landed in Dublin. I awkardly maneuvered my suitcase and shuffled off the plane. All the signs were in English with Irish underneath. Suddenly my muscles relaxed and I chuckled to myself.
I could do this.
It's been a week and IES Abroad has accomodated us wonderfully. Beautiful Dublin has fully enchanted me. I still have anxiety, but it's an anxiety to explore everything with the limited time that I have. I've exhausted travel guides for all the museums, quirky places, gardens, castles, etc. All my teachers have spent the first 30 minutes of class piling on travel suggestions. Even the alleyways tempt me with their wares. I check an item off my food bucket list almost every day.
I first found footing by bonding with my roommates, all of whom have enthusiastically committed to adventure themselves. We're still getting used to Irish wall outlets, the bizarre smell of the Guiness factory outside our building, and walking everywhere, but I'm really grateful to have them with me navigating everything.