Well, technically, my adventure has already begun. I said farewell to home, parents, goats, cats, horses, and dog the day after Christmas in order to spend a week and a half with my family in the Netherlands, where I have not been in almost seven years. Thus, the last couple of days have seen me in the small town of Borculo in the middle of endless Dutch “boerderijen” (farms). Tomorrow my aunt and uncle, with whom I have been staying, will drive me west to Zoetermeer, where I was born, so that I can stay with my oma, visit the rest of my family, and tour the bigger cities.
Though I have often flown internationally, and I have often flown solo, this was the first time that I had flown internationally on my own. Though I was nervous at first, especially since I would be transferring in Copenhagen and would thus need to go through a passport check station and do who-knows-what-else before actually going to my connecting flight’s gate, it was all much clearer and simpler than I had imagined.
My other main worry was packing. Typically, when I fly to school (domestically), I am able to bring two 50lb suitcases, along with everything I can stuff into my carry-on. Whenever I fly to and from school I cram both of my suitcases to the brim, and end up having to remove a jacket from the larger one at the bag-check station because it is just over the weight limit. Yet, this flight only allowed one 23kg (51 lb) check in bag! Besides that, I was not confident that my wardrobe would be acceptable in Vienna – everyone I have talked to talks about how well they dress there! What I chose to bring seems to fit in well enough in the Nl, but who knows how it will stack up in Vienna! Surprisingly it all, including a backpacking backpack I brought along for my post-study abroad travels, fit into a 22.8 kg suitcase. It seems I’m getting pretty good at this whole packing thing.
Now that the trip has actually begun the only thing I feel is excitement. My German is far from proficient (even that is generous), and the commute from my apartment to the school appears to take longer than I was expecting (according to Google maps), but I am ready to take everything as it comes. I can’t believe that in just over a week what I have been looking forward to for so long will finally be here. Vienna, here I come!
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<p>Fionna studies Anthropology and Molecular Biology at the University of Pittsburgh. Though she is originally from the Netherlands, she has spent the last ten or so years in California. Her free time is spent reading, horseback riding, nerding out about television shows, hiking, and dreaming of future travels and adventures. She is looking forward to spending her spring semester enjoying the life and culture in Vienna, Austria and the surrounding countries. </p>