Oh my, oh my, oh my! In about 48 hours, I will be sitting in Miami International Airport waiting for my connecting flight from Atlanta, Georgia to Montevideo, Uruguay. The plane ride to Uruguay will be about 10 hours and I think I want to use that time to sleep, so I plan on staying buzzed on coffee until Miami in hopes that I can crash. (Just a joke, maybe.) The more I look at my half packed luggage, the more excited I get. I have flown to Indianapolis twice, so it’s nothing new to me, but this time, I will be seeing the ocean from my window, instead of small towns and farm land.

The normal fears of being abducted, or missing luggage, or crashing planes, have all been clouded over by the thoughts of new lands, change of culture, and all that BEEF!! I have tried to envision the experiences and adventures that lie ahead of me and they more than outweigh the anxieties. I have an wandering spirit, and going to Uruguay for the Sustainable Beef and Grain Production and Marketing Systems Study Abroad Program seemed like the perfect way to combine that with my love and adoration for agriculture.

Packing was (still is) the biggest challenge for preparing to leave. I want to pack accordingly, without over-packing. I want to pack the necessities, without having to pack my entire room. So far, I have (I think) everything I need packed and it only takes up 3/4 of my checked bag weighing only 21.4 pounds (out of my allotted 50 pounds) and my carry on. I am more concerned with bringing back things than I am taking them, but don’t tell my parents that!

The hardest thing about preparing for this trip was asking off from work. NOT! I had my request for leave submitted on Jan 2. I picked up a few extra shifts this weekend to make up for it, but I get two weeks off from work to do nothing but travel, eat food, tour farms, and learn about agriculture, the latter being the greatest of them all. I did use my job to help me prepare for this trip though. As a cashier I was able to talk to people who has previously traveled out of the country, and some of those people happened to be previous UGA Study Abroad students. Hearing their stories and truly soaking in their advice helped me in deciding what to pack, how to handle the departure, and to focus on the good and not the bad.

This will probably be a once in a lifetime experience for me so I want to enjoy it to the best of my abilities. No regrets (unless I catch food poisoning.) I am looking forward to it more than I can explain in this blog, but I am going to try to share my overly excited emotions with you on here!

Keep checking back for more from me! You’ll wish you were here.