I can’t believe the time has come!!!!! I have been dreaming of going to the Galapagos Islands since my freshman year at my undergraduate university. I would have never imagined that while getting my Masters, I would be given the opportunity to study in Ecuador, visit the Galapagos Islands and observe the same animal interactions that Darwin once explored and described.

I would be lying if I said I am completely prepared. In less than 24 hours, I will be arriving in Quito, Ecuador and starting the trip of a lifetime, leaving behind a couple comforts of home (Zaxbys salads, Chick-fil-a, washing machines…). I have traveled outside of the United States a few times, but this will be the first trip without my parents, as well as for more than two weeks. Every time I try to pack something into my bag and realize it probably isn’t necessary, I remember all of the new treasures I will be able to bring back if I save space.

I am so lucky to have this opportunity and am so excited for the trip ahead. If it wasn’t for all of my family and friends making donations, as well as scholarships provided by UGA, this trip would not be possible. I am so thankful to be apart of this extraordinary adventure.