When I look back on last summer, I think of my trip to Guatemala that changed me for the better. I grew up, grew perspective, and learned how to work with people who you may not get along with. I studied abroad with 11 other people including myself in a third world country and tensions were high. We were all uncomfortable by the changes and the sights we experienced, but overall I did not let negativity get to me. I learned to be positive when traveling and experience other environments because nature is entirely different everywhere you go.
First off, American Airlines lost my bags. Thanks. The worst part of all that mess was my luggage didn’t come for 4 days. Double thanks. But, through the mayhem, I stayed positive. What else could possible happen that is worse than losing your bag? The worst happened and suddenly all my fears passed away. You start to realize that when the worst actually happens, you can take just about anything that comes next.
I love traveling and I love nature. But most of the people who I was with did not enjoy the trip. I’ll never let this get to me and my positivity that I had for the trip. Guatemala was truly breathtaking and Spanish is seriously a beautiful language. I have been speaking Spanish since I was in kindergarten up until my junior year in high school. I was able to communicate with ease and understood everything I saw. Maybe that’s why this trip wasn’t uncomfortable for me because when you go to a country not knowing the language it can be quite intimidating.
Before the whole trip began, I flew in by myself on multiple connecting flights which one actually got delayed for about 3 hours. On the last plane landing into Guatemala City, a pit in my stomach began to form. I was scared of the unknown. I didn’t know a single soul there besides my professor who was planning to pick me up from the airport.
I did not save any music on my phone besides a Discovery Weekly playlist which Spotify automatically changes every week. The only band that was familiar to me when I was landing was Foals. I am not much of a fan of Foals but their song, Mountain at my Gates practically saved me from a full-blown anxiety attack. The beginning of this song leads to a huge chorus that immediately changed my mood for the better. I was able to calm down and focus on the music. I thank you, Foals. You made my trip from the very beginning a lot more positive than I could ever do by myself.
Did I mention while we were landing we were surrounded by lightning? So yeah, that could also be why I almost got swallowed whole by my anxiety!