Carolina In My Mind

Before I leave for Ecuador, I want to reflect on what I will miss about home. 

I’m going to miss the snow and how frozen roads meant no school. 

I’m going to miss Korean food. I brought a bottle of Sriracha (though not Korean) to add a little bit of spiciness if I start missing the food my mom makes. I’m so excited to try Ecuadorian cuisine, but what will I do without my kimchi?

I will miss riding around aimlessly in the rain. When all you hear are pitter-patter of raindrops hitting the car, but when you go under a bridge, just for a second there is nothing but silence. 

I’m going to miss belting out worship songs during Saturday service at church. The youth band has grown so much and I’m so proud of them. 

I’m going to miss all my friends who’ve gone off to college now. You guys have made my experience in NC the best thing in the world. I’m going to miss our fun nights out and our field hockey days. 

I’m going to miss my family. My mom, my dad, my siblings. I’m probably going to get homesick. I’m also going to miss my dog waking me up at the same time every day because she wants to be walked. 

I’m also going to miss it when UNC wins the National Championship this year (calling it right now!). I’m going to be happy because it’s my school but also mad because I won’t be there for it. But it’ll always a great day to be a Tar Heel no matter where I’m at in the world, so I’ll be celebrating either way. 

There have been so many frustrating times for me, from constantly getting my visa application rejected to feeling scared to leave home for so long. However, having my fellow fellows with me going through the same process and being able to talk to them has made my experience so much better. This shared experience is what makes the cohorts (both GGYF and GCY) so special. 

Although I leave for Ecuador soon, it still hasn’t hit me that this is actually happening and I’m actually going on a gap year. I don’t know when it’s going to hit. Maybe it’ll be when I board the plane or when I first arrive in Quito. Or maybe it’ll be a couple of months into it, or perhaps a couple of years later. I honestly don’t know when I will get that realization but until then, I just want to acknowledge my thanks to my cohort and the village it took to get me to where I am. Thank you for making this journey happen for me.