Everyone has a different story to share, everyone has a different path they may choose and I will share a bit of my own today. My name is Maria Moore and I am from Louisiana. I grew up in a bilingual household and was encouraged from a young age to study Spanish. I am fluent in Spanish now which has been a blessing in my life. My dad is from the states and my mom is from Nicaragua. However, my cultural diversity does not stop there. My great-grandparents are from Germany, China, Ireland, Nicaragua, and the States. When I was looking around for universities to attend, I knew I wanted some additional exposure to studying abroad. Growing up my parents encouraged traveling and as a result we traveled to Nicaragua, Honduras, Italy, and many of the states. Additionally, when I attended LSU I had the pleasure of traveling to Jamaica on a mission trip and to Honduras to study abroad for three months. This past year I have traveled to 14 states. You could say that I LOVE to travel!

After being accepted to UGA and signing up for classes, I rushed through the process of signing up for the trip from start to finish in about a week. Now three weeks from my trip I am slightly freaking out. I enjoy taking the time to get to know the place I will be traveling too. I have researched the country, crime rates, location and the study abroad webpage multiple times. I enjoy getting to explore the country and have ideas for what I want to bring home as souvenirs to what I need to pack. As of right now, I still have yet to make my packing list which is why I am slightly freaking out. Before every-trip I make a packing list of items needed so that I have time to purchase those I am missing. I have yet to finish getting the rest of the items needed.  I always like to feel over-prepared for my trip and as of right now I still feel I am lacking. Yes, I already called the airline to clarify travel details.  I guess my biggest worries as of right now is will I have enough space to pack all the items needed? Will I have enough space for all the souvenirs I want to purchase? Will my plane delay and I miss the bus to the mountains? Will I be able to catch the taxi without being bombarded with people wanting to carry my luggage for money?

It seems silly at times how stressed I may get for my trips but time and time again I love it. In truth, no matter how prepared I am for my trip there is always something that goes wrong. I can only go along for the ride and be patient with traveling. If there is something I have learned from all my previous travels, is to remain calm no matter what happens. My dad always taught me that opportunities only happen once, you must take them as they come. I definitely took his advice and am taking this wonderful opportunity to travel to a new place! I know I will meet a bunch of new people who all have different stories on how they were able to part take in this study abroad trip. I believe that is the true beauty in traveling abroad getting to find out how people across the world find happiness. I think seeing a new culture helps to bring back a reality in each of us. The reality that each person struggles with different battles but that we learn to be happy and satisfied with our own lives.