Happily packing my bags

19 Feb 2020

With only one month to go until my semester abroad, I finally made the commitment and booked my flight. It feels so good that now this thing finally becomes real. This also initiates a chain of follow-up events: I will need to confront my inner spider phobia, go down into the cellar and get my dusty big suitcase. I will have to arrange someone to sublet my student room to while I am gone. And I will finally have to start packing!

Packing. A hate-love story. I hate it because I want to take all my belongings even when I only go away for a weekend, so God knows how much I want to take for 5 months abroad. But I also love packing because the entire process is accompanied by adrenaline rushing through my veins considering the nearing adventure. I mean, will I wear these shoes I’m packing on a mountain in Japan? Will I read this book while being on the train in Japan? Who knows! Every piece I take with me will probably assist me in this new country.

I do have to contain myself. I could easily fall into my favourite type of shopping spree: The hunt for books. People living in Nijmegen will probably know the bookstore Dekker van de Vegt – it’s basically my second home. I love reading books incredibly much and a new country offers so many new books. For example: Japanese meditation, Top 10 places to visit in Japan, and so on. While I won’t buy too many new books here, I am looking forward to doing that in Japan instead!

Another important task before I leave: I somehow have to manage to meet up with all my friends. In my mind, this was somehow super easy. Basically, I would just text my friends a date and time, and we would meet up, right? Not quite. As an international student with international friends, most of my friends are travelling back and forth between countries to visit their own family, so it takes a bit of planning to find a date.

As I am planning these meetups, I have to wonder at the same time: What new people will I meet in Japan? They do say that a semester abroad is one big adrenaline rush where you basically can become friends with everyone. For now, I am looking forward to meeting old as well as new friends! In the meantime, I will happily pack my bags.

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