My plane leaves for Auckland, New Zealand in less than 24 hours.
Am I finished packing? Nope.
Do I have all the documents I need in a neat little pile? Of course not.
Do I know what to do with my phone when I get there? Not really.
Honestly, the only thing I really have going for me in terms of preparedness is that my Chacos just arrived in the mail. And you know what? I’m not worried about it.
One of my closest friends spent last semester studying in Wollongong, Australia, and she’s been my go-to girl for study-abroad related questions. Earlier this week I texted her in a moment of panic, convinced that I am going to show up to New Zealand and be totally lost, lugging around two suitcases full of nothing that I actually need. And the only piece of advice she had for me was,
“That’s part of the adventure. It’s no fun to be over-prepared.”
So I’m sitting here in my chaotically messy bedroom with a half-full suitcase and I know that if I left right now, I would be laughably under-prepared for a semester abroad. Not just because all my socks are still in the laundry, or because I can’t find an umbrella in the house to save my life, but also because I have no idea what to expect out of the next five months. And when Ellen told me that it’s not the end of the world to show up to a new country unprepared – that it may actually make my experience more memorable – I embraced my nerves and my anticipation for the upcoming semester. As far as “stuff” goes, I can always find a Target (or whatever the New Zealand equivalent of a Target is) and pick up what I need. But for me, the most important thing is to be mentally prepared to show up unprepared and take on the adventure of studying abroad.