One of my favorite questions is when people ask me why I decided to go study abroad in the first place. Prior to November 2015, I’d never talked about wanting to leave the country, I’d never been one to go away from home, and to be honest, I’d never thought about leaving America. So I never truly gave any indication that it was a possibility in my future.

Until I got the D… I got dumped. My high school on-off again boyfriend dumped me officially after five years of a roller coaster ride.

I hate to say it because I’d never want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but being dumped by him was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I never would have left this country to find myself if we stayed together. I never would have realized that traveling is what I’m supposed to be doing at a young age. I never would have met the sweetest man in the world who I just moved in with after over two years together.

Moving across the world because you were dumped sounds a little excessive, I’ll admit. There were, of course, other factors that played into it.

As cliche as it is, something in my soul was telling me where I needed to go. When I was driving around my hometown and everything was reminding me of my ex I remember thinking, “I can’t keep doing this anymore.” It was that day that I started thinking about where I was going to go. I originally was thinking for a short vacation, not a year-long program of any kind.

But when I arrived to school the following week I saw a sign about studying abroad. After that, I went to my first class and we had a guest speaker who was there on behalf of the Global Relations office as a recruiter for students that want to study abroad.

I finally decided to go into their office on Sac State’s campus and discuss options with a counselor. We went over my options and what the application process would look like (very very long) and she took the time to explain to me thoroughly what going abroad meant. After hearing her out I left feeling more confident that it was something I wanted to pursue.

That weekend I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to see an old friend from high school and a young man I was talking with at this point in time who went to school there. I didn’t hit it off with either of them. I wasn’t in a good stage in my life and they had clearly changed away at school too. So I left feeling saddened and discouraged about being happy again. As you probably know if you’ve had a break-up, there’s a point where you wonder if the sunlight really will shine on you in the future.

On my drive home I saw three different signs with something about Spain on them. Spain was one of the options that I discussed with my counselor and I felt it was more than just a coincidence, I felt it was a calling. I went back in to speak with her and the more we looked at my options the more it turned out the only thing that would work for my school schedule, and my personal preference to be gone for two semesters was Spain.

It was then that I made the decision I would be leaving. I trusted myself. I trusted that sometimes fate calls you in the direction it wants you to go. I imagined a new life and a fresh start in front of me. I took a leap of faith. I can’t imagine how different my life would be if I didn’t.