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Last Day in the U.S.A (Until 2019)

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.  – Maya Angelou

More than a month ago I compared myself to the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. I was hustling and rushing to get everything done. Can you imagine what the end result was? Ha, let me tell you.

From September 28th through October 13th, I tried to check everything off my to-do list, from packing and sending e-mails, to studying and saying my goodbyes.  Just when I thought I covered all my bases, I realized I had dropped the ball on obtaining my Spain Visa earlier this summer. I thought I still had time to contact the embassy and  Spain consulate in the U.S. Clearly. I knew I needed a visa to stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days.  I had contacted both the D.C. and N.Y.  consulates via e-mail, in hopes that they would be able to answer some of my questions, but they did not. After informing them of the steps I had taken, they shut me down before I could ask my questions. Who’s to blame? Me. Life moved extremely fast this summer and I shouldn’t have underestimated this process. Everything about that experience screams, “First time traveler.” But that’s alright, I accepted my mistake and made the necessary adjustments after. As the singer Aaliyah cantered, “If at first you don’t succeed, you can dust yourself off and try again.”

On a more personal note, saying good bye to my Nashville family was not easy.  The day I left Nashville, I was with my boyfriend Trevor and holy cow did I cry! I knew I was going to. I live in the moment and when the emotions roll in, I let them come full force so that I don’t let them linger any longer than they have to. I cry because I love deeply. I don’t know what tomorrow may bring but I do know  I am loved and I value every moment I share with others.

Now, the driving part was actually easier than I expected. It was a road trip party for 1. I drove 10 hours to Washington D.C. to see my childhood best friend Bella. The next morning  finished the last 4 hours of my drive. Since then I’ve been seeing family and friends non-stop. Studying for the GRE was not a thing these last two weeks, but that’s okay. When I look back at my life at least I know that I prioritized the things that matter most to me.  It’s important for me to be around my loved ones because we have such a unique relationship. Plus, I know that I’m a hard-working, driven individual. I may not know what lies ahead, but I know it will be rewarding.

Everyone asks me if I’m excited or nervous for this trip. My response is, “Neither.” I’m more curious than anything. My social and cultural upbringing, along with my life experiences, have prepared me for this trip. It’s going to be a new experience, a new world, a new life style, and I am prepared for this new journey. It’s going to be challenging but that’s the point; I want to be pushed out of my comfort zones. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime. I am beyond thankful for this Lumos scholarship. The journey continues my loves.

Follow my blog account on Instagram for more photos and posts of my journey! @lifebeyondthevines.

Life Beyond the Vines

Con cariño,

Rachel Mercedes Beihl

P.S. I am 100% balling my eyes out tomorrow when I say goodbye to my parents. (:

 

 

The Smiles Before Spain

7 Weeks and Counting!

I feel like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland when he says, “I’m late! I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date!” While everything is set up for Spain, I am scurrying to finish my home “to-do list” before I leave. During these past 18 weeks post-graduation, I have been hustling! I’ve been nannying, tutoring, adjusting to living on my own,  preparing for graduate school and experiencing everything else in between. It has been a summer for the books for sure! With all the events that have happened this past year, it feels as though time is flying more than ever, for better or worse. But I am extremely proud of all that I have accomplished along the way. Before I know it, I’ll be headed on a 14 hour drive home to spend time with my family and then off to Spain for four months.

I have not spent a significant amount of time thinking about the trip. Honestly, I try to practice not fixating on anything but the present moment. It’s healthier for me to live that way. Plus, I’ve been preoccupied with an eventful summer. Realistically, the present is all I have time for. The emotions have come in waves and up until now they’ve been extremely spread apart. At this moment I am filled with curiosity and excitement. The only one thing I worry about is what might happen to my loved ones when I’m gone; ya know, the type of things that are out of my control. Unfortunate events occurred while I was away this past year, and it’s natural that this is a worry of mine. Although it’s not easy living 14 hours away from large family, I’ve managed to do very well thanks to FaceTime and the amazing group of individuals I’ve befriended in Nashville. Our special bond has carried me a long way.

That’s why I remain positive, happy, and thrilled for this trip because everything in me can feel that this is where I need to be and what I need to be doing, and it feels right. New beginnings like these are my favorite. It can be unnerving, but I love the emotions attached to the unknown. I’ve always believed in the wanderer that lives inside of me. I can’t wait for what this new experience brings.

Con cariño,

Rachel Mercedes Beihl

P.S.

I want to end this post by promising to be extremely honest with you and with myself during this journey. Honesty is humiliating, humbling, and beautiful but it is also misunderstood. We expect others to be honest with us, yet we spend more time lying to ourselves than anyone else. I myself have done this numerous times but I am not ashamed. I remind myself that perfection is not the goal, growth is. That is why I have spent the last four years seeking the most authentic version of myself before the lies altered my perception of life. Although it has been a personal journey, I have opened my world to the public through blogging and Instagram in hopes of inspiring others. By no means has this journey been easy but it has most certainly been gratifying. I am beyond excited for the new journey that is to come and the lessons that follow. For more insight on this journey follow my Instagram blog @lifebeyondthevines! xoxo