I believe the conversation went something like this:
My friend: “I’m having the time of my life at the University of Edinburgh.”
Me: “That’s great! I want to go too!”
And so, in exactly 10 days, I will be leaving New York City to go study and live in Scotland. I have never been to Scotland.
Preparing to go to a place one has never been is not as difficult as you might think. After all, Scotland is not the most exotic place – at least you don’t need to get any vaccinations before you go. I have already purchased the necessary items, including raincoat, Wellies, and 4 extra-large suitcases (I have come to terms with the fact that I will paying enormous excess baggage fees). Ironically, in these final days at home, I mostly find myself NOT doing things to prepare for my departure; the suitcases are languishing in a corner in my room; I know I should go buy some plug adapters, but keep putting it off; at this very moment I am NOT researching fabulous things to do in Edinburgh – instead, I’m watching this terrible-but-so good TV program called “More to Love,” which is a dating show for “larger” people (and a waste of time even when I don’t have a million other things I could be doing).
And yet, I feel strangely calm. Maybe it’s because it hasn’t sunk in yet that I’m really leaving. There are, however, certain signs that I subconsciously know what’s coming: I keep having these strange dreams in which I get to Edinburgh and find that the university is actually located in the woods, and that I will be sleeping in a log cabin with 12 other people (more of a nightmare, really). I’m also spending every moment I can at home; all I seem to want to do is be with my family and friends. I recently caught myself (on a perfectly good Friday night, no less!) sitting on the couch with my mom, watching one of those odd movies that she always adds to the Netflix queue without my knowledge.
And of course, when I’m not pretending to be all Zen and “take-each-day-as-it-comes,” I’m also ridiculously excited. I can’t wait to see the flat I’ll be renting for the year – it will be the first time I’ll really live alone. I keep imagining all the wonderful people I’m going to meet and the fun that I’ll have (I have conveniently forgotten that I will be expected to do actual work at some point).
Maybe tomorrow I’ll start packing.