Friday, May 31, 2013

Departure Countdown: 14 Days

2 weeks? Are you kidding. Woah.

I want to be freshman-year-of-high-school-poetry-unit deep for a post so stick with me...

I think it is symbolic and wonderful that it has been raining and will be raining while I have been and will continue to prepare to leave. Yes, I wanted to get my tan on so I would look good in the million pictures I will be taking. Yes, I am sad that I won't get to have a beautiful sunny summer in Illinois. But come on. Since I got home, the weather has been unpredictable. Some days it is cloudy all day but never rains. Other days it is sunny all day then out of nowhere it starts to downpour. Sound familiar? Let's get real, if I were back in the poetry unit of any English class I've ever taken, I would make this all stereotypically deep in the most mediocre and condescending of ways. I think it would go something like this:

Unpredictable rain.
Drawing parallels between my bleak present and my bright future.
Could this be a sign?
Do I believe in signs?
All I know is this:
Rain is cleansing.
Rain is the only thing that can bring along a rainbow.
I want a rainbow.

Gross isn't it?? But COME ON!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Departure Countdown: 19 Days

It wasn't until I wrote the title for this post that I realized I leave in less than 20 days. My departure date is quickly approaching and I could not be happier.

Coming home from college for the summer seems like a blast. Maybe for other people it is. For me it's just boring and disappointing. Everyone is busy. I sleep all day. I watch Netflix all night. Don't get me wrong! It's relaxing. But I wouldn't describe it as exciting.

You know what is exciting? Anywhere but here. I'm looking forward to being in a new place. That concept in and of itself is exciting. Even more exciting is that news that I got my class and residence assignments. I found out yesterday that I will be taking Photographing the City: London and Creative Writing. With the knowledge of what classes I'll be taking and where I will be living, I am finally ready to go. I am now confident that I will not only survive this trip... but maybe even enjoy it. I have been so worried these past few weeks that I will have a terrible time. But suddenly, I am ready. Maybe it is because I am relieved that I got the classes I wanted. Maybe it is because I am so damn bored here in the North Shore. Maybe it is because I am tired. But I think I'm ready.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Departure Countdown: 23 Days

Information overload. CIS Abroad sends me emails everyday with new information and I'M FREAKING OUT!

Gigi, here is how you get your visa!
Gigi, don't forget to print out all 30 of these forms and mail them to us yesterday!
Gigi, don't pack too much... there might not be an elevator in your building!
Gigi, did you book your flight yet?
Gigi, hey!
Gigi, you will not get to sign up for classes until June but tell us right now what class you want to take!

The only helpful and inspiring email I have gotten to date was (of course) a Pinterest board. It has some really great information that I will check out when my CIS email induced panic attack subsides.

Until then, I'll be hiding from the real world and the responsibility that comes with it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Departure Countdown: 24 Days (Updated Departure Time)

Flight = booked.

This is all becoming very real. Today I booked my flight and I leave June 14th. I never really thought about the flight and how long it would take. It is an eight hour flight from Chicago to London and there is a six hour time change. THAT'S 14 HOURS! I can't wait to become acquainted with my new friend, Jet Lag. I'm hoping to sleep during the flight; but knowing me and real life travel patterns, I will be wide awake the entire time. If I go sleepless on the flight, I will be awake for roughly 31 hours before I can go to sleep on the 15th.

What a wonderful way to start my trip: crippling fatigue and subsequent moodiness/crankiness.

I'm studying up on some ways to avoid jet lag. Below is a link to some good tips that I will keep in mind on my flight but mostly likely disregard.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Departure Countdown: 27 Days

Now that I have officially finished sophomore year (exams and all), I can finally start thinking about my trip. I leave in 27 days and that means that I have 27 days to shop my brains out, do paperwork, save money, pack, and emotionally prepare myself for what lies ahead. I am hopeful that all of this hysteria is worth it in the end... HAH! Just kidding!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Departure Countdown: 31 Days (ONE MONTH!!)

Woah. I just realized that one month from today I will be headed to London. Rather than excited, I just became extremely anxious and I think I'm going to throw up. Annnddd I still have 2 finals left.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Departure Countdown: 36 Days

I have officially finished my classes for sophomore year. Now, we're looking at a paper and four finals. Let the apathy begin!



Monday, May 6, 2013

Departure Countdown: 39 Days

It's important to prioritize your stress before it gets out of control.

I know that only because I suck at it. Even though I start finals in 7 days, all I can stress about is getting everything ready for the UK. It looks like I need to back off of the travel stress for a while. In 11 days I can get back to pulling my hair out over booking flights, buying clothes, packing, and registering for classes abroad. For now I need to worry about starting the paper that is due in 4 days and studying for finals.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Departure Countdown: 42 Days

I'm starting to get the uneasy feeling that my trip to the UK won't pan out like my favorite movies. A girl can dream though, can't she? These movies set the bar unachievably high. And I'm realizing that I have terrible taste in rom-coms.

(and possibly the worst photoshop job ever)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Celebrity Guest Post: Cindy Lude

Today's post is a copy of the email my mom sent me in response to reading my blog. I think she had some good information and want to share it. Without further ado, here is Cindy Lude's take on European travel etiquette:

In the spirit of enjoying your trip vicariously myself, I started compiling (or "blogging," if you will) a list of travel tips you may find useful. Here's what I've got so far:

1.  In England, if you say, "I  can't find my pants," you have just announced to everyone around you that your underwear is missing.  Instead, say "I can't find my TROUSERS."  Better yet, keep your pants in your trousers and/or your mouth shut. 

2.  Don't say "bloody" too much. It's the same as saying "f**k" here .

3.  "Fanny" refers not to your bum, but to your lady part. A "fanny pack" is just wrong on so many levels. 

4.  It rains a lot in England. Bring a raincoat (called a "Mac", short for Macintosh), wear rain boots and carry an umbrella Ella Ella. 

5.  It's rude to tip your waiter, cab driver or hairdresser.  Decent service for a fair wage is implied. If the service sucks, you'll live. Get over it. 

6.  Don't take mini-cabs; they're a ripoff. 

7.  "Ale" is not ginger ale and "cider" is not apple cider, at least not the kind you're thinking of.  Also, Coke tastes different there.

8.  Don't accept food or drinks from strangers on a train or anywhere else. Stick with bottled water. 

9.  Europe is a continent but England is an island, part of the British isles. You may be quizzed on this. 

More to come...

Thank you, mommalah!