Travel Day!

Rabat, Morocco

As I write this, I’m halfway to Rabat, Morocco! I’m sitting in the Paris airport waiting for my last flight. When I get to Rabat, I will have been traveling for 28 hours. At this point, the travel is definitely starting to exhaust me.

I could have booked my flights differently, making a shorter travel day. I decided to go for a long travel day with lengthy layovers because I left from Chicago. I wanted to have plenty of time in case there were any delays. After all, January in Chicago can be quite the winter mess. I’ve known a few people who have gotten stuck in the Chicago Airport because of the bad winter weather. Thankfully, my travel has been a breeze with no delays, no bad weather, and no lost luggage.

Yesterday, after I said most of my goodbyes, my fiancé drove me to Chicago. I stayed the night in Chicago, before my flight, so that my drive to the airport was only 5 minutes (instead of 3 hours!). This also meant Nathan (my fiancé) and I got to celebrate my last night in the US with yummy Chicago style pizza.

My Last Dinner in the US: Chicago Style Pizza
My Last Dinner in the US: Chicago Style Pizza

This morning, Nathan dropped me off to catch my flight. Saying this goodbye was particularly hard and I avoided going through security for as long as possible. Eventually, I said goodbye and disappeared through security. I traveled from Chicago to Atlanta, and then from Atlanta to Paris.

Airport Goodbye!
Airport Goodbye!

As I sit here waiting for my flight to Rabat, I keep thinking about how surreal everything feels right now. There were so many moments when I wasn’t sure going abroad would fit into my four year plan. I’m majoring in Chemistry and on the pre-med track, so the classes I had to take were very specific and some of them couldn’t be taken outside of the US. Thankfully, I managed to squeeze in all my pre-med and Chemistry classes in the last 3.5 years so I could spend one semester abroad without any science classes!

Still, it’s hard to believe that my last semester “at Hope” will be spent in Morocco. I don’t speak French or Arabic, which are the primary languages spoken in Morocco. Honestly, it is nerve-wracking to move to a country where I do not speak the language. But I’m super excited to learn the languages. 

I’m looking forward to seeing what this upcoming semester holds. Throughout the semester, my goals are to learn as much as possible about Morocco, get outside of my comfort zone, and build a solid foundation to continue learning Arabic.

I’m excited to share my adventures with all of you!

P.S. The first photo is a picture I took the day after I arrived in Rabat. This view alone made the long travel day 100% worth it.

Published by Skylar Sundquist

Class of 2020 IES Abroad Rabat, Morocco Chemistry w/ minor in Biology

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