Beyond NY Nikki Fallon

Not a Small World After All

Nicole_FallonGreetings from my new home in Granada, Spain!

Hola!! Me llamo Nikki. My name is Nikki. This is my first blog on Hawk Talk where I am going to be sharing all of my crazy adventures I take on during my eight weeks abroad in Europe! Let's just call it my European adventure!!!

I am from Long Island, NY and until now, leaving for college was one of the hardest challenges I've ever had. I am a bit of a homebody. I love everything about Long Island and where I am from. I love my family, my friends, my house, my job, my dog — so leaving home at the age of 17 to live independently was a struggle. When my parents dropped me off at Wagner College freshman year, you would have thought I was 5 and they just dropped me off at a day camp I never wanted to go to. I had a puppy dog face and tears streaming down my face, begging my mom and dad to stay just five more minutes. Needless to say it didn't take long before I found my home at Wagner.

Wagner was just one of my challenges and journeys I've faced in this big world. Growing up we listened to the addicting contagious Disney songs like "It's a small world after all," and after the past 24 hours I realize I am only one person in a world that isn't so small after all.

Pulling into JFK airport on May 31st at 4:00pm my heart sank to the floor. I have never been to Europe and I have never traveled alone PLUS I have never been away from my family for more than 3 weeks MAX. In other words, in my head I was thinking "WHAT AM I DOING?!" I wiped the tears, hugged my parents and boyfriend and walked towards the security gate. I felt like 25 bricks were on my chest. I desperately looked for students my age who were going abroad. I felt like every ounce of Spanish I had ever learned magically slipped out of my mind. I keep reciting key lines to say in Spanish.

Waiting on line to board the plane I noticed this young girl standing there looking all around her. She looked more lost and scared that I did (if that's even possible). I knew she was a student because her sweatshirt said Michigan State on it. It was time to make a friend. I noticed her Vera Bradley carry-on was the same pattern as my pocket book. (For those who don't know me I LOVE my Vera Bradley purple pattern; I have about 5 different items in the same pattern). I went up to her and told her I liked her bag. She laughed realizing we had matching patterns. To make a long story short I made my first friend, Lyrissa, on my adventure to Granada. I stuck to her like glue making sure we both made it there in one piece!

My fears seemed to vanish once I met Lyrissa, or shall we call her St. Lyrissa.  Once we arrived to Madrid everything seemed to fall into place. I knew I had made the right choice by coming to Granada to study abroad. I met a bunch of girls all going to the same program, all studying Spanish, even some Education majors too. They all were freaked, scared, nervous and excited. I realized I am not alone in this crazy adventure (aventura). As we boarded our final plane to the city of Granada, I looked out my window and saw an unbelievable view: mountains covered at the tips with snow and beaches with water so blue. There I was embarking on my first real adventure, not in New York, not at Wagner, definitely not in the United States, but in my new home for eight weeks: Granada, Spain. I heard the captain come over the loud speaker say Bienvenidos (welcome). I had arrived in this not-so-small world after all.