Cameron, outbound to Taiwan

With a crushed spirit, I accepted my fate: I would not step on a plane today.

Da jia hao! The first thought that came to mind while writing this was “Am I really going to live in a foreign country, with people I don’t know, and without any form of familiarity, that is my friends and family?” The answer is a big fat YES.

Last December, I received an opportunity to embark on a yearlong exchange to Taiwan, and I jumped on it without any regrets. In preparation for my exchange, RYE Florida held two orientation sessions which informed me of something that many people do not tell you, “Your exchange year will be the both the best and worst year of your life” While I cannot personally vouch for this, I believe it wholeheartedly.

It was during the orientation sessions where I met a great, fun loving (AMAZING) group of individuals that, like me, would embark on exchanges of their own. Together, all the exchange students and I prepared for our exchanges. Months passed and the moment of truth came.

On the morning of my flight to Taiwan (Which was today), I was surprisingly calm. Sure I had a few (Okay, maybe a lot) of butterflies in my stomach, but other than that I was perfectly fine, that was, until I checked in. I was dressed in casual jeans, a semi decorated Rotary blazer and basically half walked/skipped to the airport from the parking garage, I was that excited.

Once in the airport, I walked up to the check-in counter fully prepared to officially become an exchange student, when the check-in employee grimly informed me that due to delayed flights, I wouldn’t be able to make my Hong Kong flight connection. This meant, I couldn’t leave….. A million different emotions surged through me (Anger and Disappointment being some of them). I have heard of people having troubles at the airport, but I was not expecting them to happen to me, but they did.

I tried to remain calm (Which was very hard thing to do) in the hopes that the check-in employee could book me on another flight. After abou t an hour of phone calls, they said that they couldn’t book me on a flight. Once I heard those words, I immediately thought of my host family. Would they be mad? Would they hate me before I even got there? It was a pretty intense few moments (Luckily, they later emailed and told me not to worry and that everything was fine, whew). With a crushed spirit, I accepted my fate: I would not step on a plane today.

Luckily, they booked me on the next closest flight, which would be tomorrow. Even though I was not happy, I tried to make the best of the day by reading, writing this journal, Studying some Chinese, looking over my power point and preparing for tomorrows journey (Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly). Although I know this was not an ideal start, I wouldn’t change it. For good or bad, it was an experience gained. Although, I do hope my flights go well tomorrow!

ALL FUTURE OUTBOUNDS: Don’t lose your cool simply because your flight didn&rsqu o;t go as planned. I’m not going to lie, a million things could go wrong, but a good attitude can make a stressful situation more bearable.