All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go.
(I feel a song coming on...)

Today is the day I've been staring at on my calendar for a long time now.

If there is one thing I can say about the packing/leaving process, it is that traveling to Europe is not as glamourous, or simple, as it sounds.

I have changed my 'live out of one bag' aspirations the past few weeks into being an absolute hoarder. I've been collecting items that I know I won't find in Spain. Anti-persperant deodorants, specific toothpastes, mixes for cooking, vitamins, and things that are just generally cheaper in the US to save myself some money.
Switched that Colgate for Crest last week after a trip to the dentist...number 1 recommended!
In addition to that, I can't bear to part with any of my wardrobe. Forget looking like a European! Sometimes I am going to want my college hoodie and my sweatpants. (Go knights!)

I also worked up quite a sweat last night packing, stepping on suitcases and laying on them to zip them shut. I think I will need some sort of spanish crow bar to open up one of them, it is zipped so tightly, clothes and items ready to explode out of it.
I don't even remember what I packed in these giants.
And I can guarantee after the 12 hour travel time, in Madrid, I will need do some freshening up before I greet that new Spanish air. Madrid Barajas bathroom teeth brushing is going to get me some weird looks, but it's going to happen people.

There is going to be a non-glam lifestyle in a lot of what is to come this year for me. 
Ups and downs, messes, sadness and tears. I'll miss this room I'm sitting in now, with the familiar all around me. I'll miss being able to hug my family and sit in the living room with them whenever I want to. I'll miss home, there is no doubt in my mind.

But there will be happiness in so much more of what is to come. Whatever happens from this day, September 1st, forward, I will enjoy with an open heart, a huge smile, and satisfaction that I worked so hard to get where I want to be. 

09/01/2011 7:43am

I can't say I advocate switching to Colgate! I'll always be a Crest girl. One thing I missed in Spain was cottage cheese. I loooove it. I did find it one time at Lidl (store with foreign groceries) but it was from Finland and just wasn't the same.

lesa dailey
09/01/2011 4:41pm

hi jen, enjoyed the update to your blog. you were so sweet to come over and visit with me and Tom the other night. it was great to see you. i've missed you this summer. i think i look forward to your adventures as much as you............thanks for letting us share them with you through your blog. safe and happy travels until we see you again. much love, mrs. d.

09/03/2011 4:54pm

What can I say...I'm proud of you, I love you and I miss you. You are not alone!


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