As I watch the flags of every nation whiz by as my dad drives me to the airport, my knuckles are white as I hold onto the seat beneath me. I packed my suitcase weeks in advance, but the time had flown by. Finals were a blur.

I think back to all that I went through in order to be here today. The first step was actually getting accepted to the program; determined, I had spoken to Professor Smalley for hours trying to get information. Then I had landed the job that helped me fund my travels. Next was my father. Convincing him that this would be the greatest opportunity in my entire life was more difficult than anything else. He had broken, though. And now he drives me to the airport just as excited as I am for this adventure. (Or maybe he just wants me out of the house for a month!)

Today is the day: the day I depart on the Grand Tour. I have no idea what to expect, but I am ready to take things as they come. The most intimidating part of the journey for me is getting through airport security and flying into the unknown. After that, I am excited to learn and explore other cultures. Italy, France, England, Scotland, and Ireland, here I come!