Anxiety, Part 1

My name is Jim.  In less than two week I will already be in Chile.  Woah.

The anxiety I associate with travelling to a foreign country comes in two parts.  First, there is the pre-departure type – the type that I am experiencing now.  So many small and seemingly doable tasks, which inevitably take hours, days, or weeks longer than they should, have to be completed before I leave.  Subletting my room in my apartment has turned out to be the worst of these, though obtaining a student visa has to be a close second.  These have been due mostly to unjustifiably long processing times, though the often contradictory information supplied by numerous mistranslated government websites hasn’t exactly helped either.  I guess I was wrong to think it would take the FBI less than eight weeks to verify that I have no outstanding criminal record.

All of this, however, will be over in a week and a half when I touch down in Santiago, Chile.  At that point I plan to promptly forget any unresolved problems I left in Seattle – maybe in my absence my room will rent itself? – and begin my CIEE program in Valparaiso.  My goals for the semester I have in Chile are to become fluent in Spanish and to immerse myself in the culture of the country.  Hopefully I’ll also make some friends, though at the very least I’m told that I’ll have an awesome accent when I return, assuming I don’t decide to live there.

In this coming week, however, I should probably think about packing.

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