(I wrote this following the night before my departure in the journal that I used to document my thoughts and feelings during the trip.)

What am I doing? I took my Ochem 2 final last night and now I’m heading off to Europe for 18 days. I haven’t had more than a few seconds to think about this trip throughout this month leading up to it and now I’m haphazardly packing my suitcase and trying to keep it under 44 pounds. Thankfully, Mom bought most of the things I needed while I’ve been stressing over finals. All my toiletries, medicines, rain gear, and billion other things that I probably would have forgotten. Thanks Mom!

I haven’t even really looked over the whole itinerary in detail. I obviously know the countries and major cities, but I can’t even pronounce some of the stops we have, much less know anything about them. Part of me feels like I should have spent more time preparing for this trip, despite my crazy class schedule this semester. Another part of me thinks that maybe not researching every part of the trip will allow everything to be a surprise. Every garden will be a Christmas gift to unwrap. I guess that’s how I have to look at it, since I have less than 24 hours until my plane leaves the United States!

I also haven’t had any time to learn any Italian or French. I’m going to do a quick run down of important words and phrases while on the plane. I hope that is enough to get me through the times I am interacting with people without the teachers there to help. I’m excited to learn some of both languages though!

As nervous as I am about being unprepared, I think (or really really hope) that everything is going to be okay. I’m taking the flight with one of teachers on it, as well as about 10 other students. So we can all be a little be lost together (except for the teacher, obviously. He can make sure we don’t ACTUALLY get lost)

Writing this out has been therapeutic. I’m feeling a lot more calm. Here’s to the next 18 days of exploration, adventure, and new knowledge!