I’m a list-maker. To-do lists, grocery lists, lists of what books I want to read, lists of what books I have yet to buy, and of course, packing lists have all come out of my dingy little notebook at one point (multiple points) or another. Preparing for my abroad experience in Belgium has been one ongoing list. For me, that’s included double and triple checking that I’ve signed all of the right forms, booking a flight that will get me to where I need to be, even though I still won’t be getting there on time, and paying all of my dues before the deadline, partially to get rid of that ominous termination message that was lurking under the ‘Pay your student bill’ link on My Bama.


I still have a few more weeks to go and a few more things to check off, packing and this pre-departure blog post included, but I’m excited to be done with the lists. I’m excited to learn about the Belgian culture and history firsthand, rather than from the pages of a book. I’m excited to use my free-time to explore, rather than plan out everything I want to do in a day. I’m excited to experience the central hub of European politics, rather than watch it from the confines of my TV screen. Now, once a list-maker, always a list-maker, and of course I’ll have one or two lists of must-see places and Belgian bookshops to visit, but it’s an exciting/scary/nerve-inducing feeling to be so close to this opportunity. I don’t want to fly into Belgium with a boat-load of expectations, excluding my unrealistically high French fry expectations, and I hope this will give me plenty of wiggle room to learn and absorb as much as I can.


Belgium better be ready because once I cross those last few things off of my list, I’m going to eat all of their French fries.