Pre-Departure Reflections

I am currently typing the start of this journal from a golden bubble bath at 7am, seething with both anxiety and glitter. I am sure this will be posted far later today, but for the record, I am bathing and freaking out.

Today is my last full day in the U.S. of A. and my God my dudes I am freaking out. I had my last day as a team member at Jamba Juice yesterday, it was a good summer job. Made some new friends and had some good laughs over a lot of spilled orange juice (i’m talking gallons. oops.) The day before yesterday was my last day working as a Congressional Intern for Congressman Denny Heck. Now that was badass. It was an unpaid internship and driving my ass out to Lacey while also working another job was definitely starting to take a toll but it was definitely worth it. I learned so much and made so many new connections, all the opportunities in my field of study and future career are literally endless. I’m pretty stoked about it.

Fast forward to the end of today. Today was my last day. I spent today quietly. My love and I dug around some serious antique shops today and picked out two beautiful promise rings before I take off. Something a little dated and traditional, but it will be nice to have something tangible to hold when I am over 6,000 miles away from him for the next four months or so. I’m pretty excited about them, actually.

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We hit downtown Puyallup and spent the day exploring in and out of old shops, but eventually found what we needed. I channeled my inner-goth, this lovely last gloomy day here in Washington. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

I also made my rounds of goodbyes. I hit my old workplace, had dinner with the madre, and said my farewells to the boyfriend’s parents as well. I sit here with Jake at my side, for a final evening before I depart, we haven’t said bye yet. Saving all that gushy shit for a dramatic airport exit, of course.

I’m excited about a lot of things. I’ve been told that there is no experience really comparable to studying abroad. Integrating into a whole new culture, mastering another language that my tongue is still trying to adjust to, and building new connections I otherwise would never have been able to make. I will be taking four classes abroad and already have a few internship interviews lined up already upon my first week of arrival. I’ll be sure to update on those!

I feel as prepared as I could possibly be. I’ve probably made over a dozen lists in the last week, bags have been packed and unpacked and packed again (I had to add Halloween decor, of course) (I totally have my priorities in line, I promise, but Halloween is very important, too). I have my cameras, my notebooks, backpacks, and poetry. I think I am ready. Yet at the same time, it feels like I am forgetting something like super duper important, the anxiety is beginning to really set in. On the one hand: it’s just a semester. Four months, I’ll be back by Christmas. On the other hand, I won’t be back until Christmas. That is an entire 112 days abroad. 16 weeks alone! It feels like a lifetime. It’s also fun to think my very first apartment will be 6,791 miles away from the city I call home. Ironically, the name of my apartment building actually translates to “The Poet”. No joke. So you know, I’m pretty okay with it.

Here’s to probably the most anxiety-inducing thing I have ever done ever. Wish me luck. Take off in T-Minus 11 hours.

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