Since I knew my plan was to go to college, the one thing I had completely been sure that I was going to do was study abroad. Little 9th grade me in high school would dream about roaming the streets of Rome or walking across the Champs Elysée with a baguette in hand or wandering around London and ending up at Buckingham Palace watching the guard rotation.  We’ve always traveled a lot and being a military family, we were stationed in Norway for 3 years and my mother is from The Netherlands. Traveling is something we’ve always done and my parents encourage it, but the major thing, as I’m sure it is for most, is cost. Even for my summer 1 term program, it was still a larger sum of money than I would usually pay for anything I didn’t want very bad. I worked all Spring semester and beginning of summer to save up for this as well as applied for several scholarships and used a semester of my tuition, but I was able to pay and also have enough money to spend and travel with. I knew this would probably be my best and only chance to study abroad because this class goes towards my minor and my chemistry major is so strict, I wouldn’t be able to take a semester off to go abroad, and I am also in the Million Dollar Band and I was NOT going to miss Alabama football season.

I stayed in Tuscaloosa until a week before I had to fly out, and I then went home. While packing, I just threw a whole bunch of clothes I thought I might want to bring, and then I narrowed it down as far as I could possibly go. I am very much so an over packer so my checked bag is at exactly 50 lbs and all of my jackets and shoes are in my carry-on. I did also bring a laptop bag that is big enough to act as an overnight bag for a few trips that have been planned out to take while abroad (no spoilers though). I did fly out to Chicago before my big flight to spend the night with one of my friends going on this trip as well to avoid a mix-up between flights and to travel with someone else. Losing luggage is always a big fear of mine to this was also one of the best ways to avoid that.

London has been one of the places I’ve wanted to travel the most, and I’ve been/lived in several European countries (Norway, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, etc.). Being well-traveled, I can’t wait to have this experience of staying in one place for more than a few days and actually enjoy the culture of it all. I am a little scared about being somewhere I’ve never been with a group of people who, for the most part, have also never been to London. I am very excited for the experience though, it will be such an amazing few weeks, especially with the Forensic Psychology program I will be participate in.