It is the night (hours) before I am to wake up and head to the airport to embark on my first study abroad experience, and I find myself siting in the middle of my bedroom floor surrounded by my clothes that are not yet organized and packed into my suitcase. I have written and re-written my packing list, checked the weather for Bucharest 3 times now and have googled images of Romania over and over somehow hoping to prepare myself for all that’s ahead. Yet, I have no idea what to expect.

I have always known that I wanted to study abroad, but in my head it has always been to the typical destinations: Italy, France, Spain, but never Romania. I don’t think I’ve ever given Romania a second thought. What language do they speak? Could I even locate that on a map? What on earth is in Romania? These were the first questions that entered my head, (after, of course, what’s the food like?). Some of these questions I can now answer thanks to Google. Language: Romanian. Location: below Ukraine, beside Hungary, above Serbia. But the other questions are waiting to be answered. There is so much waiting. While I have no idea all that awaits me over the next two weeks, I have a deep sense that whatever is ahead will impact me in a way I have never been before. This being my first trip abroad, there is so much to be seen and experienced. It’s a good thing the flight is over 10 hours because I doubt that I will be clocking in too many hours sleep tonight at the hands of my own imagination running wild with all that is awaiting us in Romania.

I feel like the luckiest gal in the world right now. How crazy is it that in a matter of hours, I will be flying in a plane across a whole ocean to an unfamiliar place to be immersed in a rich culture and broaden my education beyond classroom walls; and I get to do this all alongside my fellow dawgs. I am beaming with excitement, gratitude and delirium as I finish up this post and (finally!) pack up my suitcase. I am hopeful that this trip will provide so many extraordinary experiences (and hopefully a few homemade doughnuts) that will give me a deeper understanding of agriculture abroad and the importance of recognizing the faces of those behind the production of it all.

Extending a thank you to all who made this possible and the CAES Travel Scholarship. Here’s to an adventure of a lifetime!