During finals week last May, I set up a countdown to Prague on my laptop in a desperate attempt for motivation. This plan quickly backfired when I saw there were still over 100 days between me and my semester abroad. I soon forgot about the app sitting on my desktop. Nonetheless, I made it through exams unscathed and returned to Braintree for almost 4 months of summer.
The countdown slowly ticked somewhere unnoticed, and I was preoccupied with family, friends, work, and summer classes. I also fit in seeing shows in Boston, spending time on the Cape, and successfully watching all 121 episodes of LOST in less than 3 weeks. It’s been a very strange limbo period, not just because hometowns tend to exist in a time warp, but also because the reality of living in Europe never fully sank in. I accepted the fact I wouldn’t be returning to UMass with my friends, but talking about Prague still felt like distant goal. I mean, I still had 100-something days, right?
As September loomed I started to make more preparations, it has gotten harder and harder to push the reality of living in a foreign country into the indefinite future. I’ve watched my friends move back to their universities, I’ve said goodbye to most of my family, and now I have a giant suitcase monopolizing my bedroom floor, begging to be packed.
Despite the stresses that come with living in a foreign country, most I probably haven’t realized yet, my excitement far surpasses my anxiety. Looking at the amazing city of Prague and knowing I’ll be visiting London, Salzburg, Vienna, Krakow, and Berlin as well makes it incredibly easy to focus on the exciting things to come, rather than succumb to the stress of packing. I expect the Czech language to be the biggest obstacle, so I’ve been attempting to learn some basic phrases
Fun Fact: Yes in Czech is Ano, and is often shortened to “no,” according to my touristy czech guidebook, so we’ll see how that goes…
I checked that old countdown today, and those 100 days are now down to 3. The next 72 hours will be filled with lots of laundry, packing, last minute purchases (anyone know if target has voltage converters?), and Marylous coffee.
It’s a strange feeling, being in the calm before the storm. But knowing that this adventure begins next week is all the motivation I need to get through these last few days.