Well, here we are, two days before my departure to Paris, and I am surprisingly prepared. Despite all of my efforts and planning, I usually end up leaving at least half of what needs to be done until the last minute. It is the stress and disorganization of this last-minute frenzy that I usually associate with travel. I am nearly never ready to go. Walking out of the front door, bags hanging open and someone yelling at me to hurry up. I am always 75% sure I'm forgetting something and wishing I had another 30 minutes. This is why my current calmness, this unfamiliar lack of frenzy, a whole 48 hours before I leave, feels a bit strange. In fact, I think I've been feeling this calm, this, dare I say, ready, for the past week. If you know me, you'll know that this is unprecedented. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not saying that my bags are packed and waiting at the door, or that my plane outfit is picked out, or that the contents of my carry on have been arranged and placed in the appropriate TSA approved clear plastic bags. Because, in fact, none of that has been done. What I am saying, though, is that *I* am ready (and that my state of packing is decently far enough along to avoid the sense of crippling anxiety that would usually interfere with this personal readiness). I am ready for whatever adventures might await me on the other side of the Atlantic... even if I do forget something. So, Paris here I come!
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<p>Hi, I'm Katie Johnsen, a 3rd year student at the University of Virginia. I am a Media Studies and French double major studying abroad in Paris this semester in the Business & International Affairs program. I enjoying writing, photography, and exploring new places and people, and am excited to share my abroad experiences with you!</p>