Thursday, November 1, 2012

Colour me spontaneous

The spelling of "colour" was intentional. I am in London now. I am a Londoner. I am English. No I'm not. But I am a foreigner living in England for the next month and a half. And I will adapt in the necessary ways.

That is, until I have to up and leave. And that's happening sooner rather than later.

These European travels have been in the works for what seems like ages. I've taken full days out of my life - when I should have been doing homework and preparing for classes - to prepare for my travels. I had to book my own hotels, look up places to go, figure out how to logically transport myself from city to city. It's been overwhelming.

And finally the trip is nearing. And quite literally. It's so close, that I have basically forced myself into a state of permanent disbelief. If I think too much about all that I have to do in the coming days, it's likely I'll burst with anxiety. I don't want to burst with anxiety.

Usually so much planning goes into my most grandiose adventures. I'm the girl who sits in Barnes & Noble and reads travel books. The first time I came to London, I'd prepared a whole binder of information, with pages and pages printed from Wikipedia. I wanted to know everything.

This time around, I just haven't had the opportunity to do as much in depth research as I wish I could. It would be ideal, of course, to have all the time in the world to look through travel guides and prepare myself mentally, physically and intellectually for everything that will be happening over the next few days. But balancing the leisure (the term is very loosely applied) of holiday planning with the hectic responsibility of homework and classwork and internship work has been overwhelming.

It didn't occur to me for even a moment that this isn't something to fret over.

Sure, it's a bit of a nuisance to have to find things to do when you barely know where you are in any particular city. I tend to believe that when I do land in various countries in Europe during my travels, that I may have to jog my memory by looking through my papers, lest I forget where I'll be setting my feet down at any particular moment.

But the prospect is nonetheless exciting. Partially because it involves so many great experiences, but also because everything about it will be absolutely new.

I've never been to Copenhagen. Never been to Munich. Never been to Vienna. Never been to Rome. Never even been to any of the countries which those cities are contained in.

To be quite honest, I have no idea what I'm in for. The only countries I've visited before where I didn't speak the native language were Japan and France and in the case of Japan, I had my grandma with me to keep me from getting lost in a shuffle of unfamiliar words.

To add to the confusion - when I arrive at any particular airport or train station, I will have to read signs and find ticketing machines so I can get into the centers of the respective cities, and all I'll have to help me along are two little phrasebooks in German and Italian.

This is what I get for only studying Japanese and French in school. And with the former, I still can only barely read the language.

Despite all the craziness that will inevitably ensue in the coming days - and believe me, you will be hearing about it, perhaps too much for your taste - I am so super-massively excited about everything I have planned. And I'm equally excited for everything I don't have planned at all.

Maybe all the nervousness will up my adrenaline and make the experience all the better?

Regardless of whether that's true or not, this is an experience worth anticipating. And you can expect that you will be getting regular reports back - daily reports, if wi-fi availability allows. If not, I will still write each and every day (and secretly relabel the dates on my posts so that they accurately depict when I would be posting the blogs, if I am not able to do so as regularly as I'd like).

I am aware that at this stage in the experience there really isn't all that much to be enthusiastic about. It's all just over-eagerness at this point.

But that will soon be changing. And I'm excited to see where it goes.

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