Monthly Archives: August 2011

The “To Do” List

So… my last day of work was last Wednesday, and ever since my days have been a non-stop whirlwind of booking reservations, shopping, making piles (I’ve basically taken over all of the downstairs), misc. stuff on the computer, and spending time with family/friends.

It’s been exciting, exhausting and overwhelming all at once. While it still seems like my to-do list is massive, I’m actually getting to the point where I can not only a) essentially make a list of everything that still needs to be done, but also b) imagine getting it all done.

A couple of major things that have been “checked off the list” in the past few days:

  • A new camera – I lost my old one (which I wasn’t really in love with, to be honest) this summer. I am now a proud owner of a Canon PowerShot ELPH 100.
  • A travel purse – George got me a wonderful across the chest anti-theft purse to take, it has things like locking zippers, an anti-cut strap and mesh to prevent slashing. I’m excited to have those extra safety precautions, and it’s a nice neutral plum color which will stay clean and add some fun color to my outfits.
  • Reservations for a tour of the Vatican Museums.
  • Hostel Reservations – we now have someplace to spend every night we’re traveling! For a while we were considering talking to people we’d meet on the road and having a little bit more flex to our schedule/sleeping options, but the safety of having somewhere to stay every night ended up winning. I must admit that it is a little bit of a relief.
  • An international phone – I have a pay as you go phone so that I can call hostels/museums as needed, as well as for emergencies. It’s pretty expensive to call the US though, so I think I’m just going to try and stick with skype.

…and no, I haven’t finished packing yet!

157 Hours…

In one short week, I will be leaving the United States for the second (if a weekend trip to Victoria, Canada counts) time in my life.  A good friend from high school, Riley, and I will be spending the semester studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain with ISA. Before we arrive in Madrid for orientation, we are taking advantage of being in Europe and are going to be doing some traveling in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

I know that this whole experience will be amazing, terrifying, eye-opening, funny, sad, and many other things. I also know that being in a completely new and entirely different country will be a challenge for me, but the benefits of the experience will more than make up for it. There is a quote from Clifton Fadiman (an author and radio/television personality in the 30’s-50’s) that explains, “When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” Hopefully, although I may not always be comfortable, I will have (on the whole) a fantastic experiences and be awstruck by the things I see.

Please journey with me – view the trip and experience through my eyes, and join in the amazement, awkward moments and joy that will accompany this semester.