January 21, 2018, 7:10 a.m.

The countdown has begun.

 

Soon, I will be studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland at Maynooth University for the spring semester of my junior year. And I’m pretty excited.

I’ll be leaving my temporary home of Des Moines, Iowa, jetting off to Newark Airport for a lovely eight hour layover before finally getting on to the seven-hour flight on to Dublin as the beginning of my four and a half month stint far, far away from my family, my bed, my dog, my roommate and our dork of a cat.

Living in Des Moines, I’m already farther from my home than most of the rest of my Midwestern friends and while I’m almost always okay with it, sometimes being so far away, so isolated, can get difficult. I aim to be a rootless person, not confined to a single person, place or thing but, as a twenty-one year old still in school, sometimes I just miss my mom.

Ireland’s a bit bigger and farther than Des Moines, too. An ocean will separate me from my homes and everyone that I know. On top of that, I’ll be taking on Europe alone, as I believe every young person should in their life, and am looking forward to traveling and adventuring all on my own.

 

downtown des moines

I’ve traveled before, of course. I’ve been to Canada plenty of times, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland but never on my own. Never even close to on my own, always under a close parental supervision with their agendas and itineraries.  We all travel differently so I’m thrilled to develop my own style and do and see what I want.

By the time I return to the United States in June, I plan to have my style, have my independence, and another dozen countries and one more continent on my list (Hello, Morocco!).

I’m a planner, I have maps and schedules and favorited AirBnBs and hostels to travel to, to see new things. Picking Ireland was hard because I couldn’t narrow my choices down to a single country but I’m excited for my induction into the potato-loving redheaded culture that I crave.

I hope to be updating this website regularly with photos, stories and accounts of my adventures across Europe as I more or less conquer the world. I plan to be that tourist, but I also plan to see more than the highlights and reveal whatever it is the Europeans are doing right.

But first I’ve got to get there.

 

January 21, 2018, 7:10 a.m.

That countdown just won’t click fast enough.

 

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