Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Countdown to France

>>>Hello 72 Hours<<<

It's Wednesday. I leave Saturday.

Update: Not going to the lake again for today and tomorrow because packing in 24 hours would be ridiculous and borderline impossible, but my sister got home from Colorado and is home to see me which is nice!

All of my friends at BGSU are off into their new routines, and I'd be lying a lot if I told you it's not hard to miss out on this year with them (the FOMO is real for maybe the first time in my life). I'm a person who puts a huge priority on relationships in my life... That said this choice to study abroad was made purely as a move to invest in myself--my understanding of the world, my education, my future--it's hard to put myself and my selfish goals to have amazing experiences over my relationships with my closest friends. How lucky am I to have friends with similar mindsets and goals who will also be studying abroad, and who are 100% encouraging and loving as I go about this new adventure?

I video-chatted Kels and the girls for a couple minutes this morning as they were cleaning the kitchen in preparation for "Porch Time" where they'll sit out on the front porch most of the day to work on homework and enjoy the breeze, and it was a nice reminder that wifi makes long distance friendships super possible regardless of the continent.
Tyler Knott Gregson did it again with his instagram post yesterday Typewriter Series #1610
Typewriter Series #1610
I'm not a super sappy or sentimental person, but I'm also not cold. Ever since I received my VISA, I've been letting this reality that I'm leaving America sink in more and more. Some days I get little snippet reminders like the poem above to rekindle my passion to expand my horizons in the coming year. In three days, I'll take on a life-altering adventure, and I will most surely come back to America with new perspectives, new strengths, and new inspirations I can't even anticipate.


I look forward to being in a red shirt on a Habitat build next summer!
What does this mean? 
  • Dang, I just secured an awesome internship with an even more awesome company! (think global sustainability leader, partner of Habitat for Humanity, Fortune 500 for 60+ years, etc.)
  • If the internship goes well and Owens Corning is a good cultural fit for me, their Supply Chain Leadership Program would be a super attractive post-grad opportunity.
  • I don't have to search for internships from abroad (THIS IS HUGE).
  • One less unknown in my life **snaps for Julie having plans**
As the days wind down, this list needs to get shorter...
TO DO (like immediately) :
  1. Photocopy important documents and print important confirmation documents
  2. Scan and email miscellaneous paperwork for BGSU and Carty Rentals 
  3. Pack up my life (laundry is done, so that's kind of like progress on this front I think)
  4. Call banks and credit card companies to let them know I will be traveling August - May

In reference to number three above, "Pack up my life", I should share what's currently on that list...

What to take to Strasbourg, France for nine months:

  • Electronics
    • Unlocked iphone 
    • iPhone charger (or two)
    • Macbook
    • Macbook charger
    • iPod (for flight)
    • iPod charger (iPhone 4 charger)
    • Earbuds
  • Money
    • Euros
    • American money
    • Credit/debit cards
  • Documents
    • identification cards [student ID, ISIC card, Drivers license, passport (with VISA page)]
    • Copies of all of those ^^^ for safe keeping (also leaving a copy at home with my parents)
    • OFII Immigration form
    • Extra passport photos (just in case)
    • Printed confirmations of flight, train, airbnb, and Rèsidence La Marne reservation
    • Welcome guide and itinerary for EM Strasbourg for orientation
  • Toiletries/Beauty products
    • Travel-sized toothpaste, moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and body wash 
    • Toothbrush & charger
    • Deoderant
    • Headbands (2), hair ties (20), and bobby pins (whatever)
    • Brush
    • Makeup bag
    • Nail clippers, file, favorite polish and top coat
  • Clothes for fall, winter, and spring - below are guidelines, but I probably can't fit everything
    • Outerwear
      • Parka 
      • Mid-weight jacket
      • One sweatshirt (deciding between BG and Michigan will be tough for me)
      • Raincoat
      • Hat (1)
      • Gloves (1)
      • Scarf (1 knit, 1 lightweight)
    • Special Occasions
      • Black 3-piece suit
      • Button downs (1-2)
      • Tan slacks
      • Little black dress (something that will work for casual and formal events)
    • Pants
      • Jeans (2, different denim washes)
      • Plum cords
      • Running tights (2)
      • Running capris (2)
      • Leggings (2)
    • Shorts
      • Printed shorts (1)
      • Demin shorts (1, maybe)
      • Running spandex (1)
      • Running shorts (2)
    • Tops
      • assorted tanks, short sleeves, long sleeves, and sweaters with an emphasis on basics that will layer well and a couple statement items (14-18?)
      • Cardigans (3)
      • Athletic wear (2 shirts, 3 tanks, 2 long sleeve?)
      • College of Business tops (4?)
    • Sleepwear
      • Dinosaur pj shorts
      • Oversized Grounds for Thought shirt :) 
    • Swim
      • One piece (1)
      • Bikini (1)
    • Undergarments
      • enough of the essentials
    • Shoes
      • Running shoes
      • Flats (2 pair?)
      • Riding boots
      • Grey booties
      • Rainboots (if possible; unlikely to fit)
      • Chacos (1-2 pair)
    • Accessories
      • Belts (1 leather, 1 skinny)
      • Jewelry
        • Statement necklaces (2)
        • Inexpensive earrings (3 pairs of studs)
  • Randoms
    • Agenda and pen
    • Tiny stationery pack
    • Travel notebooks (I coincidentally have one from each of my siblings!)
    • Sunglasses
    • Face wipes for travel days
    • Airplane snacks
    • Eye mask (because Chels and I were traveling divas in the fall, and they're actually the best things ever for sleeping on flights)
    • Deck of cards
    • Bath towel (1)
    • Eno hammock and straps (this WILL fit)
    • Frisbee disc (probably won't fit)

What I'm intentionally leaving behind:

  • Hair dryer - shoutout to roomie Francisca for letting me bum hers this fall!
  • Straightener - I may buy one in France, or just go without (**every American girl gasps**)
  • Verizon iPhone - I may regret this, but right now I'm thinking why take unnecessary valuables?
  • Most of my wardrobe - as much as it stresses me out, outfit repeating will have to be a thing :(
  • Additional coats, fleeces, rain jackets, etc. 
  • Shoes - extra sandals, flats, boots, tennis shoes, etc. 
  • Bags - luckily I've never been the trendiest, so this won't be a huge sacrifice
  • Full-sized toiletries - French stores sell shampoo and conditioner

Once I get settled in, I'll post an update to this list with a veterans tips... I'm sure there's a lot I'm over-packing or under-packing, but it's hard to know before I get there.

Oh! Good news on the Delta front... I'm flying with a Buddy Pass. (Read: I'm flying standby.) This is not exactly recommended for business/important travel, but for $1000 I took a  gamble... And (knock on wood) it's looking like a good decision. The flight still has 8 seats in first class and business class (Buddy Passes are first to bump up), and 68 seats remaining on the flight. I'm taking this to mean (1) I will get on this flight and (2) I might even get a really comfortable experience in first class or business class, which would be great for an eight hour flight!

Per usual, I have lovelies to thank!

The Lehman family has been so kind to me! I got to know this awesome family last summer when I was Pool Manager at their club, and I had the girls for swim lessons in the mornings. We had a birthday party and end of the summer party at the pool last summer, and I continued to talk to the girls throughout the school year. I've had the cool opportunity to hang out with the girls and sneak in an ice cream date before I take off, and they've always been so generous to me both in their love and care, and in gifts! Thank you again to these dear friends of mine, and I "almost promise" I will have a picture of the Eiffel Tower for you when I return!

A sidenote to friends and family; I'll try to keep in contact to know about what's going on in your lives, but I am planning on using this blog as a primary way to inform others about mine this year! That said, Whatsapp, email (, and Facebook messenger will be the best ways to personally contact me while I'm in France!

Love, Julie "Wander with wonder and the whole world becomes home"-Tyler Knott Gregson 
Not laughing because I'm leaving everything
 in this picture behind.

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