So far, the start of my study abroad adventure has been a great experience. I arrived in Merida, Mexico two days ago, and I am definitely loving it, especially the warm weather.
The first night was really intimidating. Theresa and I went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner, and though we were trying to speak and comprehend the language, they replaced our Spanish menus with English ones, and the entire time I felt like I was making a fool of myself. Since then, I have had many similar experiences. Despite my 5 years of Spanish studies, everytime I attempted to talk to a local, I ended up flustered at my lack of ability to communicate. It definitely was a blow to my confidence.
However, today I think I took my first step forward. I was actually able to talk to and hold a conversation with a local! It was the most exciting thing that’s happened so far, and although it was definitely a bit of a struggle and awkward at times, I left feeling so much more confident. We talked for probably about 15 minutes, and he was one of the nicest men I’ve ever met. Anyway, I definitely have a long way to go before I am a good Spanish speaker, but I think I am on my way. Until then, I’m just taking it one step at a time.