Most of the juniors in my program at the University of Redlands are going abroad this fall. Our conversations loom into January, a magical place not just a measure of time, the first month of the year. There is a level of presumed homesickness present in those discussions, but I don’t think that is all going through our heads in our mutual experience all around the world. We can’t plan for the next four months, so we plan for what we can accurately imagine. We can pack warm clothes, read the local newspapers, buy phrasebooks, register for classes, talk to people who have studied in our programs, but we won’t know what it will be like for us. I don’t mean for this to sound dire, it is quite valuable in fact. When I was eighteen I went to India. Nothing could have prepared me for the swarm of the city of Mumbai going strong at three in the morning. My attitude is in leaving my adventure open minded. I know I want to visit other countries in Europe, but I’m not going to stress about seeing certain things, and financially affording reaching those goals. I won’t get to see it all, but I’m going to see a lot. And I’m not going to waste the opportunity. In other words, John Steinbeck’s words, “we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” I feel confidently in the result. I’m going to have an amazing experience. I just don’t know the roads (light rails?) that will take me there yet.