For those who hate goodbyes

Kyra Bean
May 10, 2017

I never like leaving things. I’m one of those weirdos who hated my high school graduation because I knew it meant leaving behind everything I had grown so sure of. I hate saying goodbye. Ask anyone who knows that I ended up back in the same town I grew up in for college. So the idea of living 3,658 miles across the North Atlantic Ocean from the center of my existence is sometimes absolutely terrifying. But I’ve been terrified before. After a while, you begin not to notice it.

 

So yes, about me: I’m a Writing Major at Ithaca College, minoring in education and taking a whole bunch of classes I really don’t need, just for the fun of it (I told you, I’m weird). Hence, my major may seem out of place for the specific program I’m taking— Museums and Beyond: Art and Culture in Paris, Rome and Madrid (that is the official title from the website; my hands burn from leaving out that Oxford comma). Despite my reluctance for change, I am in love with traveling. Or maybe I’m just in love with the idea of it, of being a completely different person in a different place, just until I can go back to my loving friends and my warm home and my cat. Maybe I just like the idea of living a different life until I can ache enough for the one I already have.

 

What’s my “bucket list” for studying abroad? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have one, scribbled in pink in a notebook on my desk: walk through the majestic halls of the Louvre, take an Italian cooking class, have a conversation with a local in Spanish. But I hope that I never look at that notebook while I’m away, because traveling isn’t about lists. It’s about being surprised at what you never imagined seeing or doing, what you never imagined would happen to you. That’s what you’re going to remember for the rest of your life, not some checkmarked boxes.

 

In terms of packing, I unfortunately have no suggestions for any prospective travelers. Oddly enough, over the past few weeks, I have been most stressed about what I need to wear when I’m in Europe. To say that I’ve never cared about fashion wouldn’t be true, but I spend about seven minutes picking out my clothes each morning, and most of that time is allotted to digging through the laundry basket of clean clothes I never put away. The more elite guidebooks instruct to dress “conservatively” in Europe, while the budget backpacker guides say to wear gym shoes if you don’t want blisters on your feet after the first day of exploring. I’ve been trying to figure out where I fit in. On one hand, I want to respect the culture into which I’m entering, but on the other hand, I don’t want to sweat all day in some stiff suit while I’m out walking miles through the city.

 

And how trivial is that, worrying about clothes when I’m about to see the world? What I should really be worrying about is how many notebooks I should bring to write all my adventures in, or how much room I can leave in my suitcase to bring back any tokens to remember my incredible experience by. I have less than two weeks left, and there is still so much I have to get done before I leave. But I’m not too worried about that— it’ll all get done. My gem of a sister gave me some of the best advice I could have gotten during this whole process of getting ready to leave: just go, you’re prepared enough. The truth is, that’s all you can ever be for anything in life: prepared enough. So, I’m going for it. Of course, there will be some loose ends hanging around for me when I get back. But I’ll deal with those then.

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Kyra Bean

<p>Hello! My name is Kyra, and I&#39;m a Writing Major at Ithaca College. I am more than ready to fall in love with these beautiful European cities -&nbsp;Paris, Rome, and Madrid -&nbsp;this summer, and I hope that my blogs will let you fall in love alongside me. Get ready to be tested, as there will be many challenges to overcome on our journey together. Hang on tight, and enjoy the ride.</p>

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