The Week Without Julie
“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux
I’ve had no less than six people ask me how Julie is doing in Ireland since she left last Tuesday. This flatters me. I’m like the world’s unofficial Julie Abroad Reporter. I’ve texted her almost every day, Skyped her once, and received multiple pictures of various Irish things (mostly beer). So yes, world, Julie is alive! She’s surprised at how difficult Irish accents actually are to understand! She’s probably in a bar as we speak!
To fully fill my duties as unofficial Julie Abroad Reporter, here are a few other tidbits I’ve gathered:
- Her journey to Ireland was a collection of things going wrong. She missed a flight. She left a jacket in JFK. Her luggage took a different plane than she did. But if I had to guess, she was still smiling most of the time.
- She immediately made several friends, both Irish and American.
- She has a lot of pictures of me to hang up in her bedroom but she hasn’t gotten any thumbtacks yet. (Note: She never actually said that the pictures are of me, but I’m imagining an Irish wall devoted entirely to my face.)
- When I asked if there’s anything else she’d like me to share with the people, she said, and I quote: “Um, I guess just that I’m having a good time and that I’m alive!”
So there you have it, folks. Our girl is safe and sound, and she’ll have more to share next week.
As for me, I’m still in New Hampshire, feeling a little bit like an oscillating fan. One minute I’m emailing my host family, ecstatically happy, and the next I’m on the verge of tears because I can’t find my sneakers for a second. (They were behind the closet door, obviously.) T-minus three days to take-off. Three days is not nearly enough time to finish everything on my list. (Make a giant playlist for the plane! Clean all the things! Have lunch with everyone I know!) And it’s way too much time to think about what I’m about to do. (Leave all the people and words I know to go live with strangers halfway around the world. I’m gonna miss the crap out of my people and my words.)
But adventure awaits, with new words and new people. To quote some dude whose name the Internet can’t agree on, a ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships were made for. Ships were built to sail. I was born to explore, probably. Either that or eat a lot of chocolate. With any luck, soon I’ll be doing a little bit of both.
I’ll leave you with this song – our study abroad anthem, if you will. Check back next week for the real start of our adventures!