Where it all Begins: Thoughts Before the Galápagos

Rachel Seyler
August 11, 2021

I took this photo right before I officially moved out of my college room in Colorado. I thought it was a funny photo because it kind of looks like everything is going to be thrown in the trash because who has time to go get moving boxes? Certainly not me, I think the trash bags work fine. Yet looking at the picture invoked a feeling of seeing an ugly stuffed animal you had as a child. It’s not very cute but you’re attached because over time it has seen everything.

I had spent a significant portion of my time in this room last year due to the pandemic. In a normal year I really only sleep in my room—too busy to just sit around and do nothing. Running around from class, office hours, and practice while sneaking a couple of meals in there...I really slowed down this year. It was much appreciated but now I am ready for the complete 180 from the sedentary lifestyle that I and the rest of the world have become accustomed to, though I do feel a touch of nostalgia leaving. Despite everything that happened in the past year and a half I had a solid group of friends and family that I got even closer with and now have to say bye to, which is one of the more unfortunate parts of starting a new journey 3,000 miles away from home. But it’s not goodbye, it’s only see you later because after a couple months I’ll be back and I’ll get to tell the wild and funny stories that the Galápagos has filled me with and changed me for the better. Also there’s WhatsApp so I’m only ever a text message or two away from everyone.

I’ve been dreaming of studying abroad since high school and dreaming of traveling the world since I was a little kid. A new adventure in a new city, learning a new language, and learning about other people’s ways of life sounds like the most ideal semester. I know that all the preparation, forms, and packing will be so worth it when my flight lands.

I leave for Quito in two days and the couple weeks leading up to this day have been pretty hectic, but it has made the time fly by. Right before leaving we had a bunch of orientation sessions along with a week-long Spanish course that I was a little nervous about because I asked to be in a higher class than the one I placed into but I’m so glad I did because it was a good challenge and made me feel a lot more prepared for the immersive Spanish experience that I’m about to undergo. Though I’m not by any means fluent, it is one of my main goals to come back to the states significantly more proficient at Spanish.

In two days it all begins and I’ve never been so excited or felt more ready! More blogs to come!

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Rachel Seyler

<p>Hello! My name is Rachel Seyler and I'm going into my junior year and I am studying ecology and evolutionary biology &amp; environmental studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I'm studying abroad in Quito and the Galapagos Islands via direct enrollment during fall 2021. During my free time I enjoy snowboarding, hanging out with friends, and hiking. During my time abroad I'm very excited to expand my Spanish skills, learn about the local culture, and explore in depth the unique flora and fauna that the Galapagos and rainforest entails.</p>

Home university:
University of Colorado - Boulder
Hometown:
Southlake, TX
Major:
Biological Sciences
Environmental Studies
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