My journey southward has begun, and by the time you read this blog I’ll already be in Chile.
Crazy how life countdowns go. It’s almost like playing hide and seek on steroids. One second you’re sitting in a comfy hiding spot, thinking you have all the time in the world to prepare. Meanwhile, the days are slowly tick-tocking away and before you know it, you’re on the way to a different country.
But ready or not, I’m sitting in the Dallas airport, waiting to board a flight that will take me to another continent.
Thankfully my flight is at night and I’ll arrive in Chile fairly early in the morning, so it will be a good time to sleep on the plane. As flying is not my favorite activity, I’m well-stocked with drowsy Dramamine.
To make sure I was extra exhausted, I located the most enormous staircase in the airport and ran up and down three times. Actually it was more of a sluggish, lame gallop as I lugged 40-some pounds worth of carry-on baggage.
People riding the nearby escalator must have thought something was severely wrong in my brain. In fact, one man actually came up and asked if I was alright. I guess my red face and panting concerned him or something. I explained that plane rides make me nervous and that I’m trying to tire myself out so I can sleep. He told me that flying makes him nervous as well and that he would pray for me. Bless his heart!
Now that my legs feel like jello, I fully expect to down whatever food and beverage the flight attendant hands me and sleep like a baby.
As I walked around the Dallas airport, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of familiarity. It dawned on me that I had flown out of Dallas to Costa Rica when I traveled there with my high school Spanish class almost 5 years ago.
That trip was a milestone in my life.
In kindergarten through fifth grade, I was enrolled in a Spanish immersion program, in which all of my classes were taught in Spanish. I continued taking classes into high school, but never connected with the language or appreciated the gift of knowing a second language.
The reason being was that the Spanish immersion program lacked real immersion. I never really had the opportunity to apply my Spanish in real-life situations or speak with native speakers outside the classroom.
At some point between conversing with local children at an elementary school and hiking through the rainforest, Costa Rica flipped a switch in my brain. I decided to continue my Spanish studies into college, possibly into a career.
So here I am again. I don’t know if you call it poetic justice or fate. Maybe it’s just God’s plan.