Growing up, I always wished for a pen pal. Someone thousands of miles away that I could share my secrets with, send fun stickers to and eventually meet. Now, at age twenty-one (almost), my wish was finally granted thanks to Sara from Sara Laughed. As many of you know, I attend Wellesley College which also happens to be where my wonderful friend Sara goes. As many of you may not know, Sara is from the Netherlands which is where I will be spending the next five months as a study abroad student.
Throughout the coming months, Sara and I will be virtual pen-pals, scattered miles apart but sharing memories together. In these weekly posts, on both Endless May and Sara Laughed, you can expect to read hilarious travel mishaps, musings of a last semester college student (Sara), thoughts on life and growing up and lots of fun pictures. We can’t wait to share these moments and memories with each other and with you.
To kick things off, Sara and I both asked each other a few questions. Make sure to check out her blog to read more.
What are you most excited about for studying abroad?
Where do I even start?? There are so many things I am excited about! I am really looking forward to exploring a new part of the world in depth. I have been fortunate enough to visit Europe twice before but both were short trips. Spending five months there will really allow me to dive deep into the culture and language. I am also so excited to meet people from all over the world! I will be living in a dorm with a lot of students from tons of different countries which I think will be a cool experience.
(I am also really excited about the stroopwafles. If you have never had these, they are basically a delicious crunchy waffle filled with syrup. I am sure Sara could explain them much better.)
What are you most nervous about?
I am nervous about a few things. Being in a time zone that is the opposite of my family is going to be challenging especially since I am used to calling my parents at least every other day. I am also nervous about learning in a completely new environment. I know that it is going to be different than what I am used to at Wellesley and I am not quite sure what to expect from that.
What are three things you hope to do or see during your semester abroad?
- I hope to visit at least five different countries(England, Spain, Portugal, France and Sweden are high on my list)! I really want to travel as much as possible and I plan on blogging a lot about how to travel on a college budget!
- I would love to make good use of my French skills (and then probably quickly realize I have no French skills). I have been studying French for quite a while now and I think it would be really fun to actually use them in a real-life situation.
- I want to try new foods! I am really looking forward to finding cute cafés, exploring foreign supermarkets and learning how to cook in a different country.
What’s one thing about you that you think will change, and one thing that will stay the same?
I think my love and curiosity for travel will stay the same and I fully expect to end the semester with an even larger case of wanderlust. That being said, I think that I will learn to appreciate home more than I currently do. I know that by the end of January, I will be very ready to return home and return to Wellesley.
What’s one way you can be or do the unexpected this semester?
I am so excited to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I want to take complete advantage of this opportunity and really plan on getting as much out of it as I can. I think I can do this by meeting new people, being open to new and unfamiliar things and really living in the moment. I plan on engaging with the world around me and living truly in the moment.
Check back for next week’s post once I will have arrived in Amsterdam! I leave tomorrow and my tummy is full of nervous and excited butterflies! If you want to follow the journey, find me on Instagram!
Love & Liefs,
PS: What is Liefs? Liefs means Love in Dutch, the language that Sara speaks fluently and Shannon will be learning in the Netherlands this semester. It is a way to close a letter like ‘love’ is.