So, first post on my first blog. Yay!  I’ve had this blog for about a week and already I’ve found some pretty cool blogs, Comincsmaniac commented on one of my reblogs, and someone is following me! (shoutout to you two :))  I’m excited to recount my tales of my European Odyssey, and all the crazy planning stages that happen before my best friend and I leave for our 4-week backpacking trip in Europe.  For the few people that have stumbled upon my blog (anybody else out there?) let me explain the plan:

In one year I will – hopefully – be studying abroad in France for the Spring 2014 semester.  I’m pretty sure that I’ve decided on studying with the ISEP program.  I’m a little sketched out by the selection process, but then again it was a very long and confusing process that I might or might not have zoned out while the study abroad person at my school explained it.  Anyway, I’ve found a few exchange programs through ISEP that seem very exciting.  Right now, a semester in Caen is my top choice.  I haven’t done much research on the schools themselves, but out of my three top choices, I like Caen the best because I’ll get the opportunity to apply to be an English teacher at the local public schools.  And since I’m studying to be a French teacher, it would be an amazing and awesome opportunity!  I’m in love with it.  The down side about all this is that the three schools I want to apply for have a low chance of exchange.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

All this is still in the wishing stage, but I meet with the study abroad person (what is her title? I really need to find out…) in a few weeks, so I’ll hopefully be able to start the application process.  I know it’s a little – maybe more than a little – early, but that’s the kind of person I am.  At least I’ll get to ask more questions and possibly get rid of this confusion about ISEP in general.  They seem like a really good program to travel through, and I’ve heard a lot of good things about them through alumni that attend my school, so I want them to live up to the expectations I’ve built.  I can also already tell that I’m going to be crushed if I don’t get to go to Caen.  That’s not good, and I’m trying to quell that feeling so I don’t get my hopes up too high.  I like my other two choices, and I have to be open-minded about being accepted to them as well.

Now, about this backpacking odyssey… this, too, is very much in the planning and wishing stages.  My best friend, Mackie, and I have talked about backpacking through Europe practically since we met freshman year of college.  We both love to travel, and have both traveled quite a lot, so as we got closer, the conversations went from “I’d love to do this one day” to “We should totally do this” to “This is happening!”  We started seriously thinking about this trip at the beginning of our sophomore year (early September of 2012), and now we’re going to make it happen.  The plan is to leave as soon as exams are over in mid-December next year (after our fall semester in 2014 finishes) and backpack during our winter break.  That will give us about 4 weeks to explore a few cities in Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and France.  We’ll be staying with some of my family and close family friends in Spain, Switzerland, and France, which I’m looking forward to since I haven’t seen some of them in years.  We’re planning on staying in hostels in Italy, and we’re intregued to see how that experience plays out.

After our trip, we will part ways for the Spring 2014 semester – me to whatever city I will be studying in, in France (hopefully Caen!!), and Mackie back to the good old US of A.  We’re supersupersuper excited for this amazing experience, but we’re kind of stuck on the whole money thing.  We’ve set a budget of $4,000 for the entire thing (Mackie says this should include airfare, but I think I might add $1,000 to my budget for that), and I think that’s pretty doable.  It’s a freak-out-worthy amount of money, and believe me, there are days when we get together and really freak about this whole idea.  But we’re doing it, we’re excited, and we both just want this year to pass so we can get on that plane and go!

As a side note, I just want to say that this is my first blog ever, so I’m not at all competent with this kind thing.  I’ve figured out how to search for blogs of interesting topics, how to post a blog entry (as you can tell), and… that’s about it, I think.  But I’ll get it the hang of it, I’m sure.

Au Revoir (Until the next time),