This post is from student blogger Troy Wilkinson from Colorado State University, Journalism and Global Environmental Sustainability Major studying in Thimphu, Bhutan.
In a week I’ll be day-dreaming at San Francisco International Airport. Well, it’ll be midnight actually, so maybe I’ll just be nodding off and on while I wait to pass through security. Either way, I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve never traveled on my own, and have never been out of the country for months at a time. It’s hard to imagine what’ll happen when I’m abroad. But I’ve been imagining as much as humanly possible.
I bet I’ll be very confused. After the plane drags into the airport everyone will impatiently shuffle out of the plane. I’ll shuffle out near the end and have no idea where to go and consequently be freaking out. All my friends are on the other side of the world, drinking their coffee and reading their books. The air will probably be more humid than I’d like, hotter too.
The buildings are probably gorgeous though, each one a jaw-dropping art display. I’ll walk the streets, imprisoning the skip in my step, ensuring that I don’t burst into an energetic, contagious musical number. Everything will be cheaper than I’m used to, the hostels sure are and I hear the food is too. I bet I’ll get clear skies while I’m there and leave just before the clouds start to roll in. I can’t say for sure, though.
Then I’ll fly away to Bhutan, where I’ll be for five months.
Bhutan could be a vibrant, champagne-bottle pop of an experience. An adventure that’ll smack me into an eye-widened level of living. Or I could freak out for half of the trip, longing to get home from March to May.
But the semester abroad could be anything. I’m starting to think all this forecasting on my part doesn’t seem to be accomplishing much. It’s like I’m writing a book without knowing any of the characters. Maybe it’s time that I discard the predictions and the expectations altogether.
The future may well slap my predictions, good or bad, into oblivion. I can study up on the region, the culture, the climate of Bhutan and Thailand but when I’m there I could see something completely different. I could look into the experiences of others who’ve visited the area, but nothing could depict what my travel experience in the coming months will be like.
So better to not predict or expect what will happen.
Better to go in with a good mindset. Maybe that’s an obvious idea, but I’ve always been a little too caught up in the possibilities of the future. And I usually end up tripping over my expectations.
So good? Bad? Who knows? I’ll just hope for the best and prepare to make the most of whatever get’s thrown my way.