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London Calling

by Katy Rysemus

It’s finally here, the day I start the adventure of a life time!  In a few hours I will be leaving for SeaTac airport, boarding a gigantic British Airways Boeing 747 and making my way to London, England! It completely amazes me that in only 9 hours I can move half way across the world to a completely new country.

I am so excited to be experiencing a new culture, meeting new people, and seeing new things.

First on the list is London. We have a tour planned and then the rest of the time is for us to use to explore this fantastic city. Little fun fact: London is the most diverse city in the world with over 200 languages spoken by its residents. I honestly have no idea how I will be able to see all of London in two days but it’s a challenge I am ready to accept. If anyone has any cool or specific places to see in London let me know!  After two days in London it is off the Limerick and the Emerald Isle I go! There I will be spending almost 4 months at the University of Limerick taking English Literature courses. How many people get to say that they studied Irish lit in Ireland?! An English major’s dream I would say.

Everything about this trip is a new adventure, a new experience. Living in Washington state but going to school in Colorado means I am pretty used to flying and having to pack my entire life into a couple of suitcase each under 50lbs. However, packing to move to a foreign country is completely different. So far, packing has been the biggest challenge I have faced. As I laid everything out on my bed, I had a minor panic moment thinking I had too much stuff, it would not fit into my suitcase and then that suitcase would be over 50lbs subjecting me to fees that I seriously do not want to pay. But in stepped my older sister and one of my best friends, Amanda. She spent a year in England as an exchange student so her opinion and guidance was much appreciated. She told me what I really needed and what I would not need to worry about packing. As I went through everything and began packing I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Of course I was still panicking the entire time and will admit I was even beginning to annoy myself with my Eeyore-esc complaints of “it’ll never work”. As the last few pieces of clothing lay strewn about on my bed I slowly transformed from the little blue Disney donkey to the hopeful and excited college student ready to embark on this incredible trip. Once everything was packed and the zipper closed, the moment of truth had arrived. My dad stepped on the scale with my gigantic suitcase in hand. 47lbs!! This was music to my ears as I was 3lbs under the weight limit.

All I can say is VACCUM SEAL BAGS. And a suitcase that only weighs 5.14lbs by itself. These two things are the miracle workers of traveling.

Another personal triumph is that I completed this packing feat TWO DAYS before I am scheduled to leave. Coming from a person who normally waits until the wee hours of the morning before a flight leaves to pack, I’d say it’s pretty impressive. My whole life is packed into one large suitcase, a tiny carry-on suitcase and of course my trusty Borealis North Face backpack. So, now that I’m all packed and ready to go, all that’s left is to get on that plane and go! Next time I see everyone I may just sound a little more Irish and a lot more experienced.

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