The fact that I am leaving to travel halfway across the world to live in a foreign country for 4 months is the scariest thought I have had in along time. It is, however, the most exciting as well. The last time I have been out of the country was only 5 months ago and it was, ironically, in Europe. This summer I went backpacking all throughout Europe (picture down below is of me eating gelato in Rome) and, as the story goes, two days into my month long adventure I muttered the words “I have to come back.”

Then came the hard part: the scholarships, the applications, and the preparation. It is a long journey before the real journey even begins. Have you ever planned to leave the country for 4 months? Have you ever thought about how much planning that takes? Let me tell you, a lot. I think the hardest part about the preparation and packing is the mundane, common things that always slip through the cracks. For example, I just learned yesterday that I will have to buy a new phone, with a new number. I also learned I need to apply for a new debit card because my company charges me 3% on foreign transactions. Things like that, the things that never cross your mind until you don’t have them. Will I remember to bring my toothpaste and socks? Probably. Will I remember to change my phone plan? We’ll see.

Studying abroad for me means education. It means that I will learn more than I have ever learned in a classroom before. In fact, I plan to do most of my learning outside the classroom. My world will be wide open and it is the first time I have ever had the chance as an adult to choose my own path. I don’t think I could fool anyone; my expectations are set very high. I plan to travel, eat, drink, swim, dance, and learn. My goal is to hit 2 new cities a month; totaling 8 places in the world I will have the chance to experience.

Studying abroad is something I have been working towards for almost 5 months now, and the fun part hasn’t even really begun. Leaving in 39 days, I could not be more excited.