Correspondents’ Corner is a place for The Pendulum’s team of international reporters to reflect on their time abroad and share stories about the new cultures they are experiencing.
Every great journey starts with a dream - the dream to do something different. It could be the iota of an idea that sparks through ones synapses while finally catching up with a recently returned friend from abroad at Irazu. Or it could be a childhood dream that snuck up on your conscience to tap you on the shoulder while sitting in your least favorite class. In the end, all that matters is taking the chance to pursue that dream. Be willing to fall off of the cliff and find a way to catch yourself before you hit the ground. Just go for it and don’t stop till your looking back at your past wondering where all the time went.
My dream started with my first trip to Europe when I was a cliché, awkward, 12 year old. My parents took me to Europe for two weeks traveling through England and Italy. I knew during that trip one-day I would live in Europe. I didn’t know for how long, or what I would be doing but that dream stuck with me to the point I now find myself at.
I am about to jump from dream to journey. Friday morning I will depart at 7:00 a.m. for Copenhagen, Denmark to attend the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. I will be living in the center of the city in a culinary themed house for just over four months. Classes are two days a week centered on journalism and writing. I am in for one awesome ride.
What does one do with this much time in Europe? Some might travel for the whole period, others might focus only on their studies and not even notice they are somewhere different than the place we all know, Elon University. For me it will be a mixed bag. Taking advice from the French film "L’auberge Espagnole", studying abroad is like making pudding: You get out of it whatever you put in to it. This will be my mantra - my journey will become whatever I make of it.
Currently, I am dealing with the stomach dropping moment everyone feels while preparing for a trip. I am about to travel to somewhere unknown and I know very little about my destination.
To quell this feeling, I forced myself to do some research about my new home. It turns out the Danish Kroner is less agreeable than the Euro in terms of exchange rates. Further muddling the monetary system, the running rate is about 1 U.S. Dollar to 6 Danish Kroner. Prices are sure to seem extraordinarily high on top of the poor exchange rate. Luckily 48% of the Copenhagen population bikes to work attributing to the happiness of the Danes that is a proverbial known fact.
This will be my saving grace, happy people in a fantastic city. With little time before I depart, I still have a forty-item to-do list to complete. I am not worried though. All will find its place before I leave. I cannot wait to find myself across the world in a foreign country this weekend.
My advice, take the chance of a lifetime and jump from dream to journey. All it takes is the commitment to say yes and agree to try. Suddenly you will find yourself on a journey you could never think possible.
[box] Are you interested in writing from abroad as an international reporter for The Pendulum? Email editor Katherine Wise at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to become involved.[/box]