travel preparation

Thallium & Thanksgiving

After just glancing at the title, I’m sure all of you are lost.  And those overachievers using your deductive skills, well let’s face it, you aren’t getting gar.

So I’ll start with the easy one- Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful, to reflect upon the events of the prior year and show your gratitude towards those who have been there for you in the good times and the bad. Oh, let’s cut the mushy, gushy, kissing-up stuff and be honest. Thanksgiving is truly about one thing: food.  And to be more thoroughly honest, we’re really only thankful to those who cook for us and clean up our carnivorous mess once we’ve hit a food coma with stuffing still camped out on the side of our face and gravy glistening on our chin. (I come from a family of ungraceful eaters.)

For my overachievers still trying to work ahead, just stop. My mind is a place no one should try to go.  

Kidding (not about the mind thing), any smart cookie could gather where I’m going with this: I’ll be absent in the land of leprechauns for that good ol’ American holiday Thanksgiving.  And of all the holidays, my all time favorite. What can beat a day dedicated to idiots attempting to deep fry twenty pound birds and the over consumption of all of the greatest food concoctions? Nothing, that’s why I couldn’t miss it and had to prematurely celebrate it before I embark.  And let me tell you, greatest idea I’ve ever had, besides studying abroad.  If you don’t already celebrate Thanksgiving twice a year, I recommend it. And who wouldn’t?  Twice the amount of food and half the amount of things you have to say you’re thankful for at one time.

I also celebrated my defeat over packing.  I’ll just leave it at: I’m pretty impressed with myself and my two forty pound checked bags and my fifteen pound backpack and am ready to take on the world.  But I’ll give you guys an update on how impressed with myself in a few months when I realize all the mistakes I made.  You’ll get a complete rundown of all my pros and cons.

So now to thallium.  Yeah, I don’t have much to say there. I just wanted a two syllabal word that started with a “th” that looked good in my title and got people to raise their eyebrows slightly. Worked, right? I know some of you did that and I think it loomes good and that’s what matters.  If you were wanting a mini chemistry lesson, here it goes: synthetic metal thing that lights up green. (For those that do attend college with me: yes, as a biochemistry student I did well in inorganic chemistry but, eh, just can’t make me go back.)

Today is the day. Takeoff day, not turkey day. That was yesterday.  And I couldn’t be more excited. More excited than I was for the delicious twice-baked potatoes I made yesterday and my beautiful bird I cooked.

Adiós U.S.A.!



Two Broads Going Abroad

It’s one of those overly advertised companies with overly priced shoes and clothing who has the trademark “just do it”.  Oh yeah, Nike.  So trademark, copyright, all that jazz goes to you guys.  I’ll take no credit for a phrase that you paid some advertising guru an outrageous sum of money to come up with.  Probably how much it would cost to pay for all my schooling and this trip, with a nice chunk of spending money on the side.  With “this trip” really  referring to the trip that is the sole purpose of me taking up this blogging shindig.

And why even mention the “just do it” thing?  Because that’s what I’m doing.  I decided I wanted to go abroad, so I’m just doing it. Plain and simple.   I could get on my soap box, preach to the choir, or do any number of those cliché phrases to talk about how you can make your dreams a reality and blah, blah, blah.  But all I’m going to say is once you pull your head out the ground, clouds, you-know-where, or wherever you’ve seem to have misplaced it, start doing what you need then want to do.  For me the process went kind of like this:

I’m a college student.

I have student loans.

I’m a poor college student.

I want to go abroad.

I can study abroad?

I can study abroad in Ireland?

Sign me up.

I have to pay extra?

Eh, I’ll find the money.

Federal government sympathizes.

I want to travel Europe.

More money?

Work myself to death all summer.

Younger sister wants to come along.

Loving grandparents swoop in.

Two plane tickets booked.

Hasta la vista U.S.A.

Nadya and I, we like to classify ourselves as travelers with purpose and direction but we want to be flexible about exactly where we go and what we do.  The pros and cons to this method are to come, I am sure.  And now we are down to the final preparations, rail tickets and first few hostels are booked and our desired route and destinations highlighted.  But doomsday is upon us… the day of packing.  I’m not a huge fan of packing, never have been and never will be.  However, as seeing myself through my beautiful yet periodically egotistical eyes as becoming the renowned world traveler, I will thoroughly document my packing endeavors for future reference to myself.  And I guess also for those unfortunate enough to think any useful wisdom or advice could come from this conundrum of a blog.

With these ever optimistic remarks, I will conclude this first entry. (Insert no apology here for anything I write or for it being my first blog post ever; because let’s face it, if you were cognizant enough to write it and make it public for attention, then it does not merit a measly I-lack-confidence apology). For those of you hoping to hear about all the wonderful and not so wonderful things I do while abroad and it not be peppered with my vast and ever forward opinions—eh, too late.  There’s no physically known way to getting around that.  So cheers to this blog and the intrigue of events to come with it.