Traveling, even for the most grounded person, is something I think all of us dream of doing. In secret, openly, everyone wants to see parts of the world they have never seen before. No matter if it’s a neighboring county or the opposite hemisphere. For me, I have always dreamed of traveling everywhere (and in no way secret). Seeing the places I can, the people I can, going far and going near, going anywhere really. And in the end it was that dream that caused me to come to the University of Alabama.
I had high hopes for other schools, but when I discovered the study abroad program at Alabama I knew I would end up coming here. It was a conversation with Dr. Halli that solidified my conviction and convinced me that the first place I would go was Oxford University.
It was one of the most expensive trips, but going to Oxford has been my dream since I discovered the birthplace of my childhood fairy tale. Together my parents and I were determined to meet the physical cost so I would be ready to go.
Now that it is close to time to go, I am having to prepare physically and to be quite honest, it’s a little stressful. I have flown before, but never when I was old enough to pack my own suitcase. Trying to think of what to pack for a month without exceeding weight limits and having room to spare for all the souvenirs is hard. A few pairs of pants and a few shirts- shoes enough for formals and hiking through farmland. Fortunately there are several things I can buy once there, but still planning ahead is stressful. Especially when you have an empty suitcase staring at you.
On the other hand, mentally and emotionally I could have gotten on the plane a month ago. I’ve traveled before and it’s something that doesn’t really intimidate me- at least emotionally. I’m almost always ready to go new places and see new people. Fortunately, this time I don’t have to drive!
I’m “raring and ready to go” as the saying goes. My thoughts are almost completely on what I’ll be doing. My only worry is, as always for me, that something will happen at home while I’m gone. I worry about the ones I leave behind, but I know that they are not worried at all for themselves. My family is definitely more worried about me, so I suppose it balances out that we worry for each other. They’ll be sad when I leave, and I’ll be skipping to the terminal. Honestly, it’s not much different than being left at college. At least, that’s how it’s going in my head so far.
Goals for the trip? As it has almost always been a dream of mine, I’m not even sure what to hope for. I want to experience everything I can in the month I’ll be there. I want to taste the food, go to the pub, sit in the classes, glean as much as I can from my Oxford professor, see the museums, visit the towns, wonder about Aliens at Stonehenge, maybe cry of happiness, and just about anything else I can do while I’m there. If it can be done in a month’s time I want to do it. There’s too much to see and not enough time to do all of it, but I’m going to take advantage of everything I can.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll do more than even that.