I watched my little sister board a plane for Mexico at 6 am today. (Or, rather, I watched her walk through security – they don’t let you watch people get on the plane anymore.) She’s off to Monterrey for a year, with the hopes of becoming fluent in Spanish.
My parents got teary as they hugged her goodbye, and, for a second, I thought I might too. But the excitement I feel for her is so big that it’s somehow not leaving much room for the sadness of missing her. When I left for Europe almost exactly six years ago, I was setting out on the adventure that would change my life beyond what I dreamed or imagined. Over the next four months, I shared a baguette with my friend Amanda at the base of the Eiffel Tower; swam in the Mediterranean Sea with two Canadian doctors named Kyle and Darryl; ate spaghetti in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Rome, where an Irish man named Daniel bought me a bottle of wine; and, finally, met the man I will spend the rest of my life with.
But most of all, I was stretched and matured and changed, and my hope for my sister is that she’ll experience the same thing.
In fact, I expect no less.