A small stream of light hit my eyes, rudely awakening me from a deep sleep.
I mumbled something inaudible, too tired to care if the loud voice could understand me. How could they have had the audacity to rouse me from my ever-so-needed beauty sleep? And then I remembered. It was Monday, June 16, the day of our departure from Illinois to Mexico. This was the day I’d been anticipating for months! Now it was finally here.
“C’mon, Mikayla. It’s time to get ready. We’re already running a little behind,” my dad called again.
I suppose he wasn’t being so loud after all. Now that I was more awake, I sat up and asked, “What time is it?”
“About 4:30. Try and hurry, o.k?”
“O.k.” So, as quickly and quietly as I could, I stood up, made the bed, and got dressed. When I had everything packed up, I went to our host’s kitchen and had a piece of toast along with some fruit. I wasn’t all that hungry, but I knew it would be a long time before we ate again, so I ate what I could then.
At about 5:15, everyone was ready, and I followed my parents outside to the car, where we all prayed together. Our hosts then took us on the one-hour trip to the airport. I thought about many things on our ride, and had a lot of mixed feelings. I was very sad about leaving all my friends for such a long period of time (1 year and 2 months!). But when I imagined myself in Europe or Africa, or some other place we would visit, a little chill went up my spine, excitement coursing through my veins! For most of the ride I just sat there going through memories. Fun things I had done over the past few years; things that had made me laugh; embarrassing things that made me cringe, but that I could still laugh at; things I really regret. It was a bitter-sweet car trip.
When we arrived at the airport, we had to yet say another final good-bye. Then we were on our own. Just the six of us. I took a deep breath and couldn’t help but smile. We were headed on an adventure! How cool was that? “Hopefully, during this time, since we can’t be with friends from home, we will bond closer as a family,” I thought. This will be something to be remembered!