It’s 1 am and I have 17 hours until I leave for France! Well… 17 hours until I leave to London because that is where my first stop is, but that’s besides the point. I have 17 hours until I have officially begin my journey into a foreign country, and I am a combination of nervous, excited, and a little bit hungry craving some late-night snack. However, I’ve never been nervous about traveling though because I have traveled countless times with my family, but this is the first time that I will be traveling on my own… as an adult. From securing my ticket, applying for a passport, to even packing I have felt the real stress of traveling. It was overwhelming at times because I was doing all this while preparing for my finals, but now that I have less than 17 hours left until my flight, it is absolutely liberating to know that I actually did all that and I am currently at this point.

Right now I’m sitting here looking at my suitcase and purse just reminiscing over traveling as a kid. Everything just seemed to run so smoothly and my parents definitely made it look easy. All the stress of planning this trip over the course of this semester has been a rewarding and of course, hectic experience. I have actually gotten the chance to see all the logistics behind planning an amazing trip and honestly I don’t know how my parents have done it! There’s the never-ending search for deals and plane tickets and hotels, then you have to exchange currency, and then with handling passports you have to stand in a ridiculous amount of lines. Preparing for this trip has really made me to appreciate the traveling that I have done with my parents because I never realized how much planning really goes into it. I never knew that you had to start booking things like flights and hotels months in advance, and with international travel, I never realized that there are certain validity requirements pertaining to passports that I have never heard of. Like for instance, apparently, certain countries will not let you in if your passport has less than 3 or 6 months until expiration. This right here was news to me! And if I would have never gotten the chance to do this Maymester, I would have never known.

So thinking about this trip, I honestly have no idea of what to expect. I’ve scoured every travel blog and pin on Pinterest and those are not my experiences, they are the experiences of others. Yes, I do agree that they give me an idea of what to expect, but I know for sure my experience will be completely different and I just can’t wait to see how this trip turns out!