25 Jun 2022

'Hello World' - Sarah's journey from home to working abroad

From Donohill to sunny Spain

'Hello World' - Sarah's journey from home to working abroad

My name is Sarah Ryan and I’m 20 years old. I’m a student from Donohill near Tipperary Town, doing a Bachelor of Arts in English and New Media in UL. I will be teaching English abroad in Spain until the end of June and writing about my adventures for The Nationalist.


“Hello World, It’s Nice to Meet You”

Leaving home for the first time is terrifying. Not only are you leaving your most secure safe haven, you are also on your own for the first time. You’re one hundred percent responsible for you and you alone. There’s no Mammy and Daddy to get you out of the bed in the morning, to make you dinner, clean up after you or take care of you.

I’ve never lived away from home before. I’m in college, but as I’m only a forty-minute drive away and have my own car, I commute. I always wanted to move out once I got into college, but spending four grand a year to shorten the distance by forty-minutes was madness.

That is why when the chance to head to Spain to work as part of my college course arose I couldn’t apply fast enough. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to be paid to move to Spain to the sun and the beach. And get free room and board. I mean, you’d be a fool not too.

I’ll be heading to one of two camps outside of Barcelona with fifty other UL students. Once there, we’ll also be assigned apartments to live in where we’ll be staying for four months. For those four months, we’ll be in charge of up to ten kids for five days a week constantly engaging with them and talking trying to make them feel at ease all the while freaking out a little inside.

Every time I tell someone about my journey to Spain, they instantly tell me how much I’m going to love it, how I’m going to enjoy it and how much fun I’m going to have. Not to mention the countless comments I get about the sun and lovely weather I’ll get to enjoy.

And every single one of those people, including those reading this, must think I’m bouncing off walls with excitement, right? Wrong. I’m completely and utterly terrified. I’ve never been away from home for more than three weeks at a time, let alone stay in another country for four months.

I’m heading away now in a few weeks and the realisation of what I’m about to do is starting to sink in. A couple of weeks back I misplaced my passport and in a moment of blind panic I began to take it as a sign that I shouldn’t go. I did eventually find it, or more so my mother did (only after telling my how ridiculous I was being).

Of course I wasn’t always this apprehensive about Spain. When the opportunity first arrived I couldn’t grab it fast enough. My enthusiasm only grew after I applied for the job, again when I got an interview and then skyrocketed when I was told I’d gotten the job.

But that was back in September and the thought of heading to Spain in February was so far away it was easy to romanticise it. It’s now February. The romance has left and I’m suddenly left with the reality of booking flights, applying for insurance, bringing suitcases down from the attic and trying to organising endless amount of clothes.

I know I’m stressing over nothing and building the whole thing up in my head. I’m sure I’ll have a great time meeting new people, visiting new places and trying new things. It’s just I’m on an official count now and I’m starting to feel more apprehensive about the situation. I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be heading into and it’s the not knowing which scares me the most. They say you should do the thing that scares you the most as it gives you the most satisfaction.

I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see.

Read the next chapter in Sarah's adventures!

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