Cheerio, America

Pre Departure Nerves. 

I am beginning to start packing and get everything together. Up until now, I wasn’t nervous, but I woke up this morning feeling underprepared and anxious about leaving.

I don’t mind throwing myself into new situations, but I have never traveled to a different country alone is new territory. Everyone keeps telling me how jealous they are and how much fun I will have. I feel incredibly lucky, but I also know I need to keep my expectations realistic as to what the first few days will be like.

As the most directionally challenged person I know, it will take me some time to navigate the Tube and how to get around the area. I also don’t know anyone in my program, so I will have to put in some effort to get to know others—which is exciting!

Packing and preparations. 

I have yet to start packing because I know it is going to be hard. I am a maximalist when it comes to packing, which doesn’t really fly when you have a suitcase limit.

One of the challenging aspects of packing for this program is bringing clothes for the internship part of the semester. Since I don’t know what field I’ll be working in, I have no idea how to pack for it. It’s possible I could be at a media organization with more casual vibes or a political office where everyone wears blazers. For now, I am going to pack a few pairs of nice pants and shirts that I can dress up or down. Luckily, my parents are visiting the week the internship starts, so they can bring me more clothes if needed.

As for the other preparations, I am a bit overwhelmed since I did not think about traveling abroad during exams or the holiday season. Winter break has finally slowed down and I realize that I have tons to do in just a few days. I am not surprised I saved it all for the last minute, but I would certainly not advise it.

While I attempting to pack, I’ve been listening to my Britpop playlist to get pumped.

How I Want to Travel. 

My aunt got me a book called “How to Travel.” It is a compilation of short essays. My favorite chapter is called “Water Towers.” It is about valuing the mundane aspects of a new place that aren’t normally photo-worthy—like its water towers.

While I will not be visiting water towers around England, I think it is a good reminder to enjoy the little things around me. Of course, I want to make a few weekend trips to see the Eiffel Tower, Schönbrunn Palace and the Edinburgh Castle but also enjoy the little things I pass every day.  I think there is pressure on students going abroad in Europe to pack in as many weekend trips as possible. While the convenience of traveling in Europe is amazing, I really want to find enjoyment in the places near me.