I can honestly say that my first time leaving home was a complete success. Sure, I didn’t pack until the night before, almost forgot to print off my plane tickets and lost something VERY important but apart from that I had no problems at all! Whenever I imagined leaving home – even just to live in another part of England – I always imagined myself crying and hugging everyone and pretty much not wanting to leave. The reality of the situation was totally different though. It was definitely sad saying bye and I miss everyone like crazy but I didn’t cry. It wasn’t dramatic or emotional like it is in the movies. I gave everyone a hug, said my goodbyes and off I went quite happily! I don’t know if the same could be said for them though..
Before now I had never taken a flight alone. I’d only been abroad twice, once when I was six and once with my best friend this summer just passed, so I’m not exactly a pro. I’m the type of person who worries about anything and everything so this was all a bit scary for me. Surprisingly, everything went smoothly and before I knew it I was off the plane, in the airport about to go through passport check and ready to meet my host family!
And then the worst thing I can imagine happened to me. I opened my bag to get my passport ready and it was nowhere to be found. Cue me panicking and going through every possible scenario in my head, none of them ending happily. I tried talking to a security guard but he only spoke Italian and my limited knowledge of the language definitely didn’t cover this situation. After about 5 minutes of sheer terror I received a text off my host mum saying that my passport had been found on the plane and someone was coming to find me. Phew! I felt like crying but instead started laughing at how ridiculous the situation was. How did I manage to lose my passport between getting on the plane and getting off? I didn’t even stand up once during the flight… Who knows.
After that whole ordeal it was time for me to meet my host family, the people I would be living with for the next half a year. It felt like I’d been waiting forever to meet them even though our first messages were only sent at the start of the week. The family greeted me with warm smiles and big cuddles which was exactly what I needed. I knew from the second we met that I had made the right decision and they were the right family for me.
Of course I’ve had ups and downs but I’m pushing through the hard times and it’s helping me to become a stronger person. I couldn’t do any of this without the support from my host family and my family and friends back home. Their words of encouragement and faith in me is more important than they realise. I’m so lucky to have so many incredible people around me. Now the worst parts are over, I’ve adjusted to being away from my loved ones and being in a new culture so it’s all up from here.