It’s Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the first day of classes at St. Bonaventure University. Normally, I’d be traversing campus in the freezing weather and sitting through the dreaded Syllabus Week classes, surrounded by the friends and peers I’ve known for the past two and a half years. Instead, I’m sitting at home counting down the days until I depart for the Czech Republic to study abroad.
It feels odd to not be back into the swing of things. I just got off the phone with a good friend and previous roommate who already had stories to tell from her first weekend back at school. A serious case of FOMO is setting in, but I keep telling myself to relax because a huge adventure is right around the corner.
In the next two weeks, I’ll be getting things in order before I fly out on Super Bowl Sunday. This gives me an excuse not to watch the damn game considering both of the teams I wanted to play in the championship lost yesterday. Thankfully, I had a few glasses of Riesling to distract me from the Colts’ abysmal loss.
Instead of going to classes, I’ve been spending my days researching various places to visit once I set foot in Prague. I must confess that most of them are coffee shops with a few classic Czech sites sprinkled in. Oh, I can’t forget about the Brevnov Monastery, “a Benedictine archabbey with the oldest tradition of beer brewing in the Czech Republic.” I’m sure my parents are thrilled that they’re sending me to the country that consumes more beer per capita than any other country in the world. Na zdravi! That’s “cheers” in Czech in case you were wondering.
So far, January has flown by, and I’m running out of days to finish everything on my to-do list before my departure date.
Here’s a list of what I’ve completed so far:
1. Entered my Czech Visa information into my study abroad program account (I’m praising the Lord that it arrived before my departure date).
2. Bought matching Samsonite luggage pieces (hopefully this will suit my over-packing tendencies).
3. Made and went to miscellaneous doctors’ appointments (I don’t have to get my wisdom teeth out for at least another six months).
4. Ordered a Czech SIM card for my iPhone so that I’ll have access to a network overseas (Let’s face it. I’d get lost in a heartbeat otherwise).
5. Ordered an add-a-bag strap to easily carry my luggage through the airport.
6. Learned a few key phrases in Czech.
Here’s a list of things I still have to do:
1. Renew my license with the DMV since it is set to expire overseas.
2. Order contacts so I don’t go blind while sightseeing.
3. Order Czech korunas to avoid the high ATM exchange fees I would most likely encounter in the airport.
4. Learn a few French phrases to help me find my gate when I land in Paris for my connecting flight.
5. PACK (I don’t even want to think about this one).
As the days pass, a combination of nervousness and excitement grows within me. I’m waiting to receive my housing information in the mail, a piece of the study abroad puzzle and one that will hopefully relieve a little bit of my anxiety. I also have plans to make a final trip to school this weekend for one last hurrah before I depart.
When the weekend draws to a close, I’ll wave and say one last goodbye to the friends and the sense of familiarity that comes with stepping on a campus I’ve called home for the past two and a half years. But in this case, my sense of wanderlust outweighs my need for familiarity, and I can’t wait to see what the next four months will bring.
Nashle (Czech abbreviation for “good-bye”),