Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

The Road is calling, so I’ve got to go

A little introduction: My name is Rachel, and I am a Junior at the George Washington University in Washington, DC but I’ve spent most of my life in Memphis, TN. I’m majoring in International Affairs, have taken a few semesters of French and Italian and hope to minor in English Literature. I have a few stamps on my passport (Paris with a friend, Athens and Istanbul on a high school trip), but have never left the country for much longer than a week- this will be my first big trip abroad.

It has been a hectic summer. Not only have I been incredibly excited to go to Galway in the fall, but my plans on how exactly I’m going to get to Galway have been in a constant flux. What was once a simple flight over soon became a month long backpacking trip through Europe before IFSA-Butler’s orientation, and then was finally slimmed down to a two week long backpacking trip.

Through IFSA-Butler’s student network I met another Rachel going on the trip who was interested in going on a backpacking trip before we began classes, something that I had always been interested in but never had the guts to really go for it. Luckily, Rachel and I will be traveling together through Germany to Prague, Amsterdam, and northern England before heading over to Dublin to meet up with our group.

This is a rough map of the route I will be taking to arrive in Galway.

We still have some work to do when it comes to our plans, but our tickets have finally been booked and now all I have to do is prepare and pack…which the closer the day comes the harder I realize this process is. I still don’t know how I am getting my luggage for Galway across the Atlantic, or know (or own) what I need for a two week backpacking trip. I still need to register to vote overseas (still a little sad that I will be missing the presidential election campaign in DC this fall- but I’ll just have to be there for the inauguration in January), and there are several loose ends that need to be tied up before I leave the country on this adventure.

I know that I am going to have probably the best time of my life, but with my departure date less than 3 weeks away and so much left to do, mostly I feel stress and anxiety when I think of leaving. Especially with the backpacking trip, this will be the most in charge of my life I will have ever been. Finding food, places to sleep, deciding where I want to go and what I want to do (and can do) is thrilling but a little terrifying as well. A little more superficially…two weeks is a long time to go without a cell phone! I know I will be scoffing at all these fears in a matter of weeks, but at the moment I’m an anxious ball of stress with a to-do list a mile long!


4 Responses to “The Road is calling, so I’ve got to go”

  1. Marina Mecl Says:

    Hi Rachel,
    Just got to Youth Vote Overseas to fill out all your paperwork to
    register and request your absentee ballot from abroad!
    You can even download the Federal Write In Ballot if your ballot doesn’t arrive in time in fall.
    Have a great trip!

  2. Rachel Rachel Says:

    Thanks, Marina! But no worries, I’ve already registered to vote overseas. Just going to miss being in the middle of the crazy DC election experience.

  3. Dominique Dominique Says:

    Hey Rachel! I was just reading you intro blog and I noticed you were from Memphis, I go to school there at The University of Memphis. I am also a blogger and will be in the UK during the fall. I’ll be in England but I’ve heard tons about Galway and really want to go so keep me updated on the fun stuff to do in town. Have fun during your semester!!

  4. Rachel Rachel Says:

    Ah! That’s too funny that you go to U of M! Galway is absolutely amazing, I love it! There’s so much live music on the streets and in the pubs, a lot of young people, and beautiful sites only a bus or ferry ride away (if you don’t count how beautiful Galway itself is).

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