Still Pre-Departure

Emma Lofthus is a student at Luther College and an ISA Featured Blogger. Emma is currently studying abroad with ISA in Paris, France.

Lofthus, E

Well, my week has been quite a bit less exciting and new than other ISA Students who have left on their programs. I’m still at home in Minnesota, getting ready and packing for Paris! Here is an inventory of my waking hours in the last 7 days, in approximate percentages:

-25% – Writing lists. I’m an avid organizer. I have written packing lists, shopping lists, house chore lists, people to email/call lists, things to google lists. Some of them even remind me to drink water, take bathroom breaks, and clip my fingernails.

-25% – Shopping. It’s amazing how large a number prints on the receipt when you buy a whole shopping list at Target. Also, little things add up to cost more than you’d expect.

-15% – Washing/drying/folding/sorting clothes. Many a time I have cried out, “Where did all these things come from?” and “Why does it take so much to live?” only to hear a sarcastic remark from my parents who have little sympathy for me wanting to bring so much along. It’s been rough.

-10% – Packing. Physically putting things into my suitcase, backpack, and carry-on purse. I’ve traveled a lot domestically and internationally. But I never cease to be amazed by the fact that: 1) rolling clothes 2) stuffing underwear and socks into footwear 3) methodically placing shoes and garments and toiletries so that it all fits in my suitcase 4) weighing suitcase 5) removing items 6) repeat…. All takes way longer than I would have it in a perfect world.

– 15% – Family time. I’m an only child flying far away from the nest for 4 months – my parents and I have been spending lots of good time together. It’s been really nice.

-10% – Being excited! And nervous. And anxious. And worried. Did I mention excited? I’m going to living Paris for 4 months!

Despite all the frustration with packing, what to do about cell phones, getting my credit card and debit cards all set straight, having the right adapters, and getting flight confirmations, maps, ID cards, etc. together, I think this week of crazy multi-tasking will be worth it!

My flight is tomorrow. I’m so ready to board that plane and start an adventure to improve my French, be an independent cosmopolitan young person, learn a new culture, see operas, explore French gastronomy, and wander around the city of lights and love. It’s the beginning of a new chapter in my life! Bring it on!

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