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By msotomayor12

There’s nothing like reading a good book on a plane. Whenever I am completely immersed within its pages, I manage to forget about reality. The problem is that when reality hits, sometimes it shakes.

A few weeks before I left for Spain, I was on an airplane that left me traumatized. The plane was cutting through the clear December skies, when out of nowhere it dipped on its right side. As it did so, the cabin shook like a seesaw, causing the woman next to me to squish me against my mom. A loud boom sounded as if part of the airplane had tore off. Now, I have travelled on airplanes before that did crazy things, like drop numerous feet, but it never scared me. However, the spontaneity of this particular turbulence made me fear the unexpected.

I kept this in mind during my turbulent flight to Madrid. For about an hour, it was obvious that strong winds were rubbing against the underbelly of the plane, causing it to shake mildly. I still clenched onto the armrest with dear life, even though I knew nothing tragic could happen at 30,000 feet. I was anticipating the worst since it was out of my control.

This was not the way I had envisioned starting my study abroad experience. I have absolutely no idea what to expect from the weeks ahead and it is nerve wrecking. For the past three years I have learned to master the GW grind. I feel in control because I know what to expect both socially and academically. It is only normal for me to feel insecure of what is to come.

Although I have only been here for four days, there have already been ups and downs. So far, I have indulged myself in Spanish food and seen the main points of the city, ranging from the most historic to the most modern. I credit my ability to speak Spanish fluently with making me feel comfortable in my new surroundings. However, difficultly adjusting to the time change gave me a miserable migraine one afternoon. Let’s just say it was not the last time I saw the food I ate that day.

While moments will be out of my control, I have learned to not fear the unexpected. It seems that my trip has started off with some turbulence, meaning that there must be some clear skies ahead.