A Week From Today
Right now it's Wednesday January 2, 2019 and I'm sitting in a booth at work waiting to open and hopefully make more than the $30 I did yesterday. This time next week I'll be sitting on the couch with my puppy with two fully packed (and barely zipped) suitcases sitting by the door waiting to drive to the airport for my 9:30pm flight to London. That's kinda insane to me.
Studying abroad is the most intimidatingly wonderful experience. I'm filled with equal amounts of excitement and anxiety. The five months I spent in Australia were the happiest of my life, but finding that happiness there took time. The first month wasn't the best but it only got better from there. And that is where my anxiety comes into play for London.
I'll be in London until the 27th of May, so slightly longer than I was in Australia. I know my best friend Lauren will be visiting over her spring break in March and I'll be visiting my other best friend, Catarina, in Portugal at the end of April. However, from January 10th to March 10th, when Lauren arrives, I'm on my own. Intimidatingly wonderful.
One of the most important things I learned in Australia is how to be in a new place and not know anyone. It's something that is terrifying at first but simultaneously one of the most worthwhile experiences to have. I think if I had gone abroad with people I knew I wouldn't have had as much fun as I did, I was forced into making new friends and it turned out amazing.
Having been to Australia I feel more prepared for Europe. For starters, the flight is half the length and I now have friends throughout Europe that I get to go visit. Australia was much more of a 'risk' and having had it go well has made me all the more ready for London.
Packing is probably the most stressful part of going abroad. Fitting five months worth of my life into one checked bag and a carryon is almost impossible. A foolproof plan I have found that works is laying out piles of everything you want to take and then having your mom go through and take out everything she knows you don't need. If it wasn't for her I would have taken 5 sweatshirts and 10 pairs of jeans to Australia. This time she'll be taking out stacks of shorts and tank tops for winter in London.
Traveling the way I am now is something I never expected I'd be doing. The places I've been and the cultures I've gotten to experience have been the most magical part of my life so far. I've gotten to fall in love with coffee shops and sunsets across the globe. I've faced my fear of the ocean and become content with myself. I've learned about cultures and people that have taught me about myself, society, and
how those two intertwine. I still can't believe the places I've gotten to explore and the people I've grown to love, and I am forever grateful that I have gotten to do so. Everyone should
travel somewhere new, whether it's one town over or another continent. Go wherever you can for as long as you can, it'll make life so much richer.
I've been told London is going to be cold, rainy, and have sucky beer. But I have lots of sweaters, love the sound of rain, and am not the biggest fan of beer so I think I'm set. A week from to today can't come fast enough.