Sitting at the airport, getting ready to board my flight to Greece for the Lifestyles of the Mediterranean study abroad course, I realize that I’m actually really nervous. It’s not like I haven’t traveled abroad or alone before, so I can’t exactly pinpoint the source of my pre-departure jitters. Perhaps it was the worry-filled goodbyes from my loving family? Maybe it’s the fact that this trip kind of snuck up on me amidst finals and the holiday season? Regardless of why I’m anxious, I need to do something to take my mind off my nerves.
When I recently traveled to Brazil, knowing a few phrases in Portuguese had come in handy, so I pull up my language app to try and learn some Greek. As the phrases form on the screen, my eyes boggle. Not only do I not recognized any words, I don’t even recognize the letters! Somehow I never registered that the Greek alphabet isn’t just for Fraternity houses and Sorority windbreakers. This definitely doesn’t help to calm me down.
Maybe I’m so nervous because I know very little about Greece. Admittedly, the majority of my knowledge about Ancient Greek history comes from what I can recall from my 6th grade history class and what I can distill out of the fictional Lightning Thief book series (side note: Here’s where I have to confess that I watched the Disney version of Hercules while packing my suitcase). However, I’m seriously excited for all that I am going to learn and experience throughout the next two weeks. As a Nutrition major, having the opportunity to learn about the Mediterranean Diet in the Mediterranean in absolutely unbelievable!
Before I give up learning Greek for the time being, I master one phrase “Kalí Chroniá”- because regardless of my pre-departure butterflies, if 2018 starts out with this trip to Greece, it really is going to be one heck of a happy new year.