Monday, September 3, 2012

To Europe and back

Just this afternoon I got together with one of my best friends, Riley, and we talked about our plans for traveling to Europe this coming summer. It's astonishing how much time and energy goes into simply planning for such an epic trip. We easily spent a good two and a half hours at Coffeesmiths. (I got a mocha cappuccino, in case you were wondering.)  The most prominent topic of the day was money.
For starters, there's the costly issue of transportation. How in the heck are we going to get to all of these places without going completely broke? Every flight, train ticket, boat ride, and shuttle costs exactly what you feared it did.
Next on the agenda was to plan where we were going to sleep every night, choosing from the hundreds of hostels in each specific city we visit. Is this one safe? How about cleanliness? Is it close to a train station? Are our hostel international cards valid so that we can get a discount?
Not to mention the obvious expenses of feeding ourselves while overseas, and the imminent and oh so crucial shopping sprees we are sure to have in every country. The attractions, the museums, the tours and souvenirs to be had, it already has my bank account cowering in fear. 
I read in an article that in the United Kingdom, almost every expense is about double what it costs here in the U.S., exchange rates included.
Um excuse me. But do these Brits know of any incoming college freshman that can afford that lifestyle? Because I sure don't.

It's all very overwhelming and stressful, however, in my opinion, it is 100% worth it.
After all, in less than a year I'll be approximately 4112.9 miles from home in the great city of London, England. I'll be seeing Parliament, Big Ben, The London Eye, and Buckingham Palace. Ten days after that I'll be 4299.1 miles from home in the elegant city of Paris, France. I'll be standing under the Eiffel Tower and choking up at the beauty of the Louvre. Ten days after that I'll be 4984.4 miles away from my mommy and my soft warm bed, because I will be experiencing true beauty in Italy. Our time there will take us to Venice, Florence, and Rome, a completely different destination to each their own.

My time spent in these amazing and decadent places won't be without cost. But the memories I'm sure to gain will outweigh those costs tenfold. We have our skeptics, our doubters. They are constantly reminding us that it's a lofty and downright dangerous goal for two eighteen year-old girls, nay, women, to venture out into the world. I don't know about you, but the mid-west just isn't doing it for me, and I'm ready to prove these people wrong.

Deuteronomy 31:6
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."          

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