Less than a month, actually. I still can’t believe that I signed up for a study abroad trip that goes to five countries in eighteen days. As I prepared for the Art and Gardens Grand Tour, I was honestly a little nervous. I was nervous about what to pack, because I have never travelled this far or this long. I was nervous about the timing of the trip, because I walked at graduation (on my birthday! Wahoo!) 12 hours before my flight, and I had to start summer job training the day after my return flight home. I was even nervous about the language barriers, because I knew nothing about Italian or French besides “Ciao,” “Bonjour,” and “Oui.” And how much is a British Pound, really?

Now would be the time, however, to remind myself of the enormity of my situation; I am going to Europe! Not only that, but I am following in the footsteps of the famous trek that learned scholars had taken for hundreds of years before me, to learn and see and taste and touch the art, gardens, and culture of Western Europe! Now my fears seem so silly when I realize how blessed I am to be here. Besides, Pinterest and Google Translate are at my disposal in case of a packing or language emergency.

No more time for entertaining silly fears. This is finally happening; I have waited for this class for the entire semester. Deep breath, Briel. Fasten your seatbelt. You have 5 countries and 11 cities to see, and a whole lot of life to experience. I hope I take good notes!