by Katelan King
I never thought packing for travel could be more exhausting than the actual travel. Then again, I've never spent a semester abroad.
My list began short. I knew I had to bring all my essential documents (seven and counting) and a change of underwear. Under the direction of some Harlaxton alumni, I later decided to pack a bit more. That was when things got interesting.
Between bipolar waves of terror and excitement, I've managed to choose which shoes made the cut, which pillow I loved most, and which books I could afford to carry overseas (the Kindle has been wonderful in saving valuable space and weight). I also researched through other travellers and blogs to find out whether my pocket knife was legal (no), if it would still be warm when we arrived (likely so), and if it was acceptable to wear casual shoes in public in Europe (sometimes). Every question I ask seems to spawn more questions, and it makes me even more impatient for arrival day.
The summer seems to draw out the closer I get to the airport. More than anything, I think, I am ready to see the Manor for myself. I want to travel to London and meet the people who (I hope) will become my new friends. I want to start my classes and take pictures and get lost in countries where I don't speak the language. All of the experiences I want out of these four months are piling up in my head, and I'm getting more and more ecstatic and scared.
I have one advantage in that I've flown everywhere. My parents live on opposite sides of the country, and I've been to Europe twice, so I'm not worried about navigating the airport system. I am nervous, however, about using the London Metro and other public transportation. Luckily, I've already banded together via Facebook with other students who have never used a subway, and we hope to learn the system together.
The Harlaxton Fall 2011 page has been great in that way. It has been an outlet for our excitement in a way nothing else can, because we are speaking directly to our fellow students (who are just as terrified and excited as we are). Already we are planning our side-trips, discussing classes, weighing the Carriage House versus the Manor for living arrangements, and bonding as a class. I can't wait to meet everyone in person. Until then, I'll be trying to fit all of my clothes into one bag. That should be interesting, because this is all I can carry with me for the next four months:
Wish me luckSee you at the Manor!