One of my biggest fears about studying abroad is that I won’t be savvy enough to find my way around.
I’m concerned that I’ll arrive at the airport in my host country, read the signs, realize that the signs are not in English and that nobody speaks English, not know where to go to catch the bus or train, panic, and crumple up in a heap on the ground and cry big fat American tears.
I have a lingering nightmare that I’ll get on my train and fail to get off at my final destination because I don’t understand what the conductor or speaker system is saying. I’m afraid that I won’t figure out how to purchase tickets, and that as a result I’ll be confined to my university and unable to make weekend trips to places I’ve always wanted to visit.
I’ve traveled to several different countries, but never by myself; I’ve always been in a large group setting in which leaders and chaperones serve as guides. I’ve flown by myself once, on a trip to and from Detroit, but that is the extent of my solo travel experience.
Yes, the prospect of travelling solo gives me quite a bit of anxiety.