Sitting in a giant field listening to soft jazz is a life defining moment.
Not in and of itself life defining, but sitting here reminising about the reality of what is actually happening, is a moment I know I will hold on to forever.
Does anyone else have those stunning moments of clarity? Acceptance flooding through your body, knowing that this is a moment you need and will remeber, while living it?
I am staring at the blue sky. Feeling a soft breeze through my hair, while smelling the air around me. I know that whenever I reminice on my travels further on in my life, I will remeber this moment and how I felt. The grass will seem greener, the air will taste earthier, and the warmth will wrap me like a cacoon. While those feelings are stretching the truth, it will be my reality of the past. With that I remeber we are all just moments in time. Accept the moment and the joy that it brings.
At 18 I decided to get myself a dog. I wanted to find a german shepard lab mix because I wanted the protective, family breeds. I ended up getting the sweetest most loving partner that I could have ever asked for. I got her as a puppy, and she was covered in fleas. After lots of baths, medicine, and good food she turned into the sweetest pup. Now shes turning 6, and we have been through so much together. Looking back, I can see how much easier life would have been had I not chosen to go down this path.
After I got her, I was immediately kicked out of my house. Thankfully my grandparents let me live in their trailer for a week until I found a place to stay. Then I rented a room from an older couple until she was 6 months old. From there, we periodically moved from living in the car to living in an apartment. The costs of a pet deposit were to high to settle anywhere, and there was the difficulty of finding a place that would accept large dogs. I couldn’t go back to school, because I had to work full time to pay for my apartment.
That wasn’t the end of it. There were vet bills, food increases, daily walks… All of a sudden my blossoming life was no longer my own. The skills and lessons I had to learn came faster, and I had to make the right decisions for both of us. As great as growing as a person is, I had to put off so much that I wanted to do in the meantime. I would have graduated college already, or travelled more. While having her hasn’t stopped me, it has made things harder.
Any advice I would give, is don’t jump into commitment without actually thinking long and hard about the ramifications. As a young girl it would have been a better choice to only have myself to look after. I could have achieved a few of my dreams and then gotten the dog I wanted. I still love and would do anything for my dog. But never again would I do something as darastic and life altering.
A few days ago I recieved my acceptance letter for my study abroad. Of course, this happened in the middle of my finals and after that my desire to study was non existant. Being the trooper I am, I pushed to finish and hopefully passed. Along with this going on, I now have a list of everything I need to get done before leaving. Did anyone know you have to have insurance that works overseas in order to get a residence visa? Because now I do, regretably. I am trying to keep everything organized by writing it down but there are way to many things on way to much paper!
To even think about moving, I need copies of all of my identifying paperwork. This is everything from my drivers licence and passport to insurance cards and acceptance letters. For some reason, it isn’t just the one copy, but about 4. One to leave home, one for my carry on, one for my luggage, and lastly one for my university. Then I have to figure out all the electronics and how the heck I will power everything. I have to have my laptop, phone, camera, and kindle availible at all times, but my converter only has one port. So I still gotta figure that one out still.. Maybe they have converter extension cords? I still need luggage too. As someone who is fine throwing everything into a large duffle bag, the annoying process of finding and buying expensive (~$200) luggage is annoying. Whats more annoying is carrying a giant bag around though.
I wish I could pack more than I am. One carry on, plus one checked bag is not a lot of room. I get to save some space as I dont need to pack essencials like laundry soap. The lack of room really gets to me when I realize that I will be there from winter until summer and will only have the two bags. So, I think I will pack for spring and hopefully I can layer to make it warmer? Probably a terrible plan as Germany isn’t exactly known for their calm winters. Thankfully you can squeeze a whole lot of leggings into a very small space!
So I also have to convert all of my money to euros.. Not a big deal, except my college is in the middle of nowhere and figuring out bank exchange rates is actually quite annoying. Everyone charges different fees and something like Travelex, while convienent, had charges so high that I was going to lose a large amount of my money. Looking into it, general advice seems to point toward applying for a Chase bank credit card as they do not have foreign transaction fees. Next step, I just have to see if I get approved. Which is, as always, stressful.
Thats my small list of stress for the week! Tune in next time to hear me rant about some other small thing like the lines at christmas time… But oh my god these next few weeks need to slow down!
As I prepare to leave the country next month, I wanted to document my headspace starting this journey. Having never left the country, this experience is panic inducing. But, I feel nothing but excitement as I count down the days. I have said so many times that I want to leave the States and have never gotten the chance to go. Whether it be ex-boyfriends, an expensive doggo, or work, there has always been something making me push off my goals. I will never regret my decisions, yet, I can say that there were other options that would have been better for me. Now, being at a point in my life where I have everything I could want, I am finally making my dreams happen. I now have a great partner who supports me. He is willing to watch my dog while I am abroad and hold the fort down at the apartment. He has been my rock through the uncertainty, and having someone I can trust is worth everything. I was also able to get scholarships, to fund my trip making it possible. Plus, I have an amazing job that fulfills me and makes me ready to take on such unknowns. The cards fell perfectly, and it is time for me to go.
Starting January 21st, I will be flying into the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris before heading straight to the banks of the Seine river. The Seine flows through the heart of the city, and has many attractions on its shores that I will make part of my itinerary. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Le Marais, Champs Élysées, and Pont Alexander III have all been planned into my journey and are within a 15 minute walk of my hostel. I plan on going to see as much as I can and everything I have always dreamed of while there. After that week, I will be taking the train to Bremen Germany where I will begin my semester abroad studies at one of the top S.T.E.M. schools in the world. While there, I will attend my classes just like at my university. I will also meet people in my field making valuable contacts for my future career. Exploring Paris, attending school, traveling, I can not believe how lucky I am, and that is not all. Graduating college, traveling Europe, and starting my career are all on the horizon leading to a bright new year.
With the trip and finals going on my schedule is packed. I am trying to get my lease taken over, my bags packed, and my visa prepared. So much is happening in such a short time and it is nothing but thrilling. As we make our way into the holidays, then eventually a new year, I see a world of possibilities.