I will be studying at the University of Sussex International Summer School in Brighton England, along the south coast.
For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of traveling farther than my extended backyards of Washington, Illinois and Wisconsin to visit family. Looking back now, I can appreciate the pastoral beauty of my grandparents' farm, the hot sun of Lake Michigan in July and my brother's log cabin in the woods, but I always wanted to see more. I wanted to travel to places I read about and experience it all first hand, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to do so now.
I am anxious about the long day of travel tomorrow. When it's all said and done, I will have been traveling from 8am to 6am. I am sure I will be tired, disoriented, hungry, airplane-sweaty and generally overwhelmed, but I am excited to begin my adventure.
I have been packed and ready to go for a few days now and I am surprisingly calm. I managed to avoid the last minute scramble of laundry, throwing together outfits, and buying shampoo bottles and toothpaste tubes. Coming from a long line of hefty packers (oh how I love my ever-prepared Mom and sister--ask them for chapstick, water, bandaids, hair ties, power bars or camera batteries and they are sure to have it on hand), I am rather proud of how I condensed everything. You never really realize what you need for the comforts of your routine until your faced with the possibility of being without something. It's now or never. I have triple checked lists and peeked in pockets to make sure everything is accounted for, and now it's time to rest assured.
The pile. Not too scary :)
The past week has been full of hugs, hikes and laughing with my parents who I am lucky enough to call my best friends. I will miss them immensely, but I am so grateful for their unfailing support as I go forward. I have been snuggling as much as possible with my cat, trying to store up enough of her fluff to make it through until I come back in August. It's going to be hard to sleep without her curled up behind my knees.
I will also miss the summer season at re.volve, the consignment boutique in Corvallis. (You don't know re.volve? Check us out here!) It's a job I was lucky enough to land two years ago and I can't imagine my life without it. I don't think I will ever have a job where I love my coworkers and daily tasks more.
But despite everything that I know I will miss,
For the rest of the summer it is my job to push my limits, explore, adventure, learn, grow, and be present in every moment.