Ready or Not… Here We Go!

Written by Taylor January 31, 2019

See you in a few months Iowa State:(

Got all of the important things including my CIMBA Travel and Living Guide!

Hopefully everything fits!

Layers, layers, and more layers

I can’t believe it!  By this time next week, I’ll be in a different country, different time zone, eating different food (bring on the pasta and gelato!) with people I have never met before.  I know this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will be nothing short of amazing!  But to say I’m not nervous about anything would be a lie.  Here are some of my “pre-departure jitters” and expectations.

Travel delays.  I can’t really worry about anything else until I make it Italy.  So my first concern is actually getting across the pond… and on time!  Living in the Midwest, it’s almost a given that some sort of weather will complicate traveling in the middle of January.  What if my flight gets delayed and then I miss my second flight?  That means I’ll miss the shuttle to campus and have to find my own transportation.  Thankfully I have two other CIMBA students on my flight, so if we get left behind at least we’ll have each other!  All joking aside, the CIMBA staff have been very helpful with all of our travel logistics, and I have no doubt we will all arrive safely!

Forgetting something… important.  Many people have told me to lay out all of the clothes that I think I need, then cut that in half.  And I’m trying my best to be smart about packing.  After all, I can always buy an extra shirt or socks abroad.  But there’s certain things you can’t really leave without, as they would be difficult and expensive to replace.  Things like my passport, debit and credit card, computer, and glasses are at the top of that list.  While I’m bound to forget something, I’ll be quadruple checking to make sure I have all of the necessities.

Trip planning.  I’m an organizer, to put it lightly.  So when it comes to taking trips I like to know all of the details.  And I’m pretty efficient at making arrangements, at least in the United States.  But planning trips in Europe is new territory for me.  I’ve heard that traveling between European countries is extremely easy (and cheap!).  I am sure that after my first excursion I’ll get the hang of it all.  Plus, the CIMBA staff and professors are known for providing great recommendations and travel advice.

Besides these nerves, there’s also the anxiousness of being in a new environment with a different routine.  Not to mention adjusting to new communication methods and different classes.  But isn’t that half the fun of going abroad?!  Getting out of your comfort zone and facing challenges head on!

While there are plenty of unknowns surrounding a semester in Italy, some things I am sure of – I’m going to meet some awesome new friends, eat more pasta and pizza than imaginable, encounter gorgeous views, and make enough memories to last a lifetime.

That’s all for now… see you in Italy! Ciao!