I just finished most of my packing for my Costa Rican Maymester (I leave tomorrow, nothing like procrastination!) I’ve never had to pack for a 3 week trip, let alone pack for that much time in under 50 pounds, so it was interesting to say the least. I’m getting so nervous, but overall I’m really excited.

It’s actually funny that I’m so nervous because I’ve been to Costa Rica before, so I somewhat know what to expect on this trip! Last year I went for one week on a pre-vet volunteer trip, and this time I get to stay for 3 weeks. It’s a beautiful country, and I’m so fortunate to be able to visit again!

I’m anxious about speaking Spanish again; it’s been a year since I’ve taken a Spanish class and I haven’t really been practicing. Luckily, the Costa Rican locals love helping tourists learn Spanish, so I’m not too worried. I’m anxious about the threat of traveller’s diarrhea and of course Zika virus, but I’m preparing for the possibility of illness the best I can (literally I’m a walking pharmacy, but better to be over prepared when it comes to this stuff). I’m not anxious about being away from home necessarily, since I usually only come home from school one weekend per month; but I am anxious because I won’t be able to talk to my family that often! We will get wifi in some areas, but some parts of the trip we will not have wifi for a few days.

I’ve learned that anxiety about traveling is completely normal, especially when visiting another country.  I can’t predict every moment of my trip, and odds are that I’ll probably forget something anyway. This is where the phrase “go with the flow” comes in. And it’s so true! It’s the best piece of advice I can give to a fellow traveler (and the best piece of advice that was given to me).

Well, here goes nothing!