The Final Countdown

One week from today (May 10th), I will be departing for Italy.

It’s hard for me to believe all this time has gone by. I remember making the decision to apply like it was last week. Back then, it felt like the trip was a lifetime away and now it’s staring me in the face.

I’ve almost finished packing… well, that’s a bit of a lie. I’ve started packing… sort of… okay, fine. There are four shirts and a pair of jeans sitting in my suitcase. That’s it.

When it comes to packing, I find myself almost paralyzed with anxiety. What does one bring on a trip like this? Questions like that keep bothering me. Is my knee-length skirt too short to be acceptable? What do people usually wear? Are people going to think I’m strange if I wear this shirt?

And then my thoughts turn to the trip itself.

What if my paperwork was actually incomplete and now there’s some problem? What if my flight is late and I miss my connection and I end up missing check in? What if I lose my passport? Oh my goodness, what if I fall asleep on the plane and I don’t get off at the right stop and they take off and fly to Mongolia or something?!

Rational or silly; it’s all buzzing around in my head like a swarm of angry wasps.

I’m learning to see past those nerves and acknowledge my other feelings about this experience. There’s no turning back now. And to be honest? I wouldn’t want to. Despite the little fits of nervousness here and there, I am incredibly excited to go on this wonderful adventure.

Here’s what I have I done this week to prepare for this trip (not including my ultra-slow packing):

On Monday, I dyed my hair brown. It was a big step for me, considering I’ve only ever been blonde. But I did it. I keep flinching whenever I walk by a mirror because I don’t immediately realize it’s me, and I go “AH! WHO’S THA—oh it’s me”

On Tuesday, I ate dinner with my grandparents and as a going away gift they gave me some Euros. I was amazed because I had never seen European money before. My brother calls it “monopoly clown money” because it’s so colorful compared to the drab, monochromatic American money. Look at it! It’s pretty.






I especially like that the bills are different sizes because it makes it easier on those who are visually impaired. Also, the numbers are slightly embossed, so you can tell by feel whether you are holding a 5 or a 20.

On Wednesday, my family and I raided AAA for maps of Italy and Florence. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much in the way of maps for Florence, but I did manage to grab a nice map of Italy. I also picked up contact lenses for the trip so I won’t have to rely on the embossed nature of those Euros (without corrective lenses I am 20 points away from being legally blind).

The rest of the week has been spent sorting through my belongings in an attempt to figure out exactly what I’m going to need. It has also been spent completing as much Rosetta Stone Italiano as possible. I’ve been looking at it for so long I’ve started naming the models. This man is Giovanni.

Giovanni loves listening to the radio.

Well, I should probably continue packing. I still have a lot of work to do and very little time left. Ciao!


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