My time left in Canada is only comprised of a handful of hours now. After 223 days of planning, I will board a plane for a year in Belgium. I’ve been able to avoid thinking the immediate nature of it up until today. Now my stomach is turning as I think about what to do with my last hours. Continue reading
Posts Tagged With: Preparations
I’ve been putting a lot of time into reading lately and one of the books I’ve picked up has been earth shattering for me. Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman has been inspiring and comforting, and I’m only on chapter four. Why is it so impressive?
This is the first book I’ve found that admits to the hardships of traveling that I experienced on my trip to Europe. Most travel writers talk of success and boldness while minimizing the idea of stress and complete dependence on the understanding of strangers. The author of this book talks about being terrified of her situation, about being overwhelmed and full of doubt. Admitting to her humanity and the doubts in her heart makes her a bold and refreshing voice. Continue reading
I should absolutely be sleeping, but no matter what time of night it is or how tired I am; late night is when I’m most productive.
Last week I wrote a post about why not learning Dutch was the one regret I had during my summer away. It only seems right that I talk a bit more about the steps I’m taking to right that wrong.
I was in Europe for 90 days. Before I left home, I knew that the mother language of my home base in Belgium was Dutch, specifically the Flemish dialect. I poured over books, websites and Rosetta Stone with great ambition, sure that I would know enough Flemish to get by for a summer in Belgium. This lasted a few weeks. Native Belgians and friends who had traveled the area told me that almost everyone could speak English. I stopped studying, comfortable in the fact that I would be just fine and learn as I went.
I’m sitting in my room, up way too late. Tomorrow I leave for Halifax, the very beginning of my trip to Belgium. Last night some of my friends helped send me off, and today I had to say farewell to others. Tomorrow I have to say farewell to my family. It’s all very surreal. My suitcase has traveled ahead of me to Halifax with the friend I’ll be staying with there. My papers are all in order and my carry on is packed. It looks like I’m all ready to go. Continue reading
I took the time today to repack and make a list of all the things I’ve got shoved (delicately) into my suitcase. The only things not listed are the items in my carry-on, the clothes I’ll be wearing on the plane and the gifts that are a giant secret surprise. These things could all fit into a shoebox, so they’re not a big use of space.
Last week I announced officially that I would be going to Belgium for three months. For those of you who are just joining me on the blog, welcome! As you can see, I’ve been planning this for quite a while.
As exciting as it was to know I was going to be traveling the world, it was very important to me that I keep it a secret. I don’t come from a wealth of money and I was afraid that if my employer found out ahead of time, I would lose the hours I was getting. The last thing I needed was to announce I was going only to find out in the end that I couldn’t afford it.
Well, I totally dropped the ball on this blog. Things got hectic in the real world and I stopped planning the trip as much. Part of that is because planning the trip everyday was making the days pass slower. Now I’m starting to get back on the wagon though, so lets get this ball rolling again!
A lot has changed about the trip since my last real post. Chief among those things is that we’ve had to cancel our trip to Belfast. We started to plan out the trip and the cost kept climbing. It got to a point that I would be spending most of my money in the first week of my three months. Not really acceptable. My boyfriend still wants to do London, so we may still be doing that, but it will be much more affordable without the trip to Ireland.
There are lots more things to announce, but with less than an hour before work, I had better get going!
I’ve been trying to plan for the trip without getting too carried away, which has been difficult. I’m the kind of person who would plan out every detail ahead of time if I had the ability. Instead, I’ve been trying to find little projects that have to do with the trip that I can accomplish on my own, so last night I did a mock pack!