Congratulations! You have been selected to participate in the Choco Rica Study abroad in Costa Rica!

That was kind of what the email sounded like when I first found out I would be participating in my first trip with UGA Study Abroad. I was excited and had to contain myself because I was ready to start packing. I got busy watching travel videos on YouTube  and searching through Amazon.

TIP: Amazon has so really good deals on packing cubes and clear bags for liquids! Also, bring bar soap to save space in your liquids bag!

Flash forward 6 months and here I am…just a couple days from leaving the country by myself for the first time. I mean not completely by myself but without my parents there to tell me what to do and where to go. I plan on getting to the airport early since the Atlanta Airport  is HUGE. Wouldn’t want to get lost!

TIP: Print out your boarding information before you get to the airport to avoid relying on your phone for everything!

I had a lot to do to prepare for this trip including figuring out what to pack. After going to orientation and getting tips from our advisors, I knew what I was getting myself into. We are going to a  country with lots of rain and mountains. I caved and purchased a waterproof sling bag and waterproof hiking boots for the occasion. It’s always better to be over prepared than underprepared! I want to enjoy this trip and learn rather than worry about my wet shoes or my soggy clothes.

TIP: Put your socks and underwear in gallon sized ziplock bags to keep them from accidentally getting wet and to save space!

I know it will be a pretty busy week but I am excited to learn about chocolate and immerse myself into the culture as much as I can. As of now, I only know what my future holds according to an itinerary. We shall see if everything goes accordingly or if our adventure takes a turn. Either way, I want to make the best of every moment!