I can't believe it.
It is starting to dawn on me that in slightly over a week I will leave my little bubble and travel all the way to Europe. I will say goodbye to my family, my friends, and even my native language for a whole year. I will develop a life that is thousands of miles away from what I have always known. I am nervous. But for every ounce of nervousness there are at least ten ounces of excitement. I have been waiting for this for over a year now, counting down the months, then the weeks, and now the days. I have never felt such a longing for something, sometimes eight days feels like an eternity. At other moments though, I know I will miss this time when I can so easily communicate with my family. Emailing and Skyping can't give you hugs or shared day to day memories. I will try to enjoy this time for what it is worth, and when it is time to leave, I will not look back but will look forward to the days that I have been waiting for.
We are on vacation at the lake this week, so I spent the last couple weeks packing and getting organized for my trip. I still need to figure out a few things but for the most part, I am ready. I am having trouble fitting everything in my suitcases, especially with the weight restrictions. It is hard to pack for a year on 44 pounds. It helps that I will get some things there like a raincoat and a heavy winter jacket, I have never really needed those in NC.
At this time next week I'll probably be a nervous wreck with less than 24 hours to go. I have a one night orientation in NYC and then the next day we fly to Amsterdam. There my host family will pick me up!