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Ready to Go

I’m only two weeks out from leaving on one of the biggest adventures. I can honestly say that the nerves have hit at this point, but I am equally overjoyed.
It is strange to think of all the unknowns—my future roommates, my housing, my classes, and so on. I’ve never been in this town, so my expectations come purely from pictures.
It is hard to decide what clothes to bring, especially knowing that the style will be different from what I am used to. For now, I’ve put my favorite clothes together in my closet, and each day try to eliminate a couple of items from the stack. This way, by the time I leave, I will have a more manageable amount. I’m not having as much luck eliminating shoes—I have so many favorites, but they take up way too much room. For now, I am trying to use the same method as with my clothes, but I may enlist a friend to help me with the choice.
 Studying the area in preparation for my trip
 Letters from my friends to open while abroad

I’m leaving home for six and a half months, which is a bittersweet experience. I’ve had my fair share of travel, but never for more than six weeks at a time. It is hard to say "goodbye" to everyone, but there is so much awaiting me abroad. I’m leaving with a piece of home though, because many of my friends wrote me letters. They each have “open when” date, which span from my first flight to my last. Now, I’m just getting the list of Skype names and from there I’ll be ready to go (or as ready as I’ll ever be).
I can’t wait to travel around France and Europe in general. My Ryanair sized backpack is about to get dragged around for quite a ride. I have a bucket list of countries to visit, and hope to get a head start on this list while I’m abroad. My top goals are Denmark, Dublin, Oslo, and Madrid. Wish me luck! I’ll be backpacking for about two months. I can already imagine how happy I will be in the end to be back in my bed after that much time spent in hostels.
No matter what happens, I am prepared to set out on the trip of a lifetime. I know that my life will be changed by everything that will happen in my time abroad, and I could not be more excited. Let the journey begin.

Laura Bastings is the Spring 2016 CEA MOJO in the French Riviera, France. She is currently a sophomore at Towson University.

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