It’s hard to believe that our European adventures are so close to beginning! As my flight date (May 19) approaches I have a number of things on my mind including…
1) Graduation! Yep, my dissertation defense has been scheduled for June 17. Since I won’t be returning to the States until circa second week of June, I need to have all my required paperwork (and the majority of my defense seminar) largely completed before the travels begin. It’s been a challenge making this happen but the reward of the GPP experience is really what keeps me going! The next few months are certainly going to require a lot of organization and patience. Five years in Blacksburg have flown by and it’s going to be hard moving to a new place.
2) Preparation! Things I need to do yet: alert the credit card companies of my travel, look into international Verizon service, and find a few miscellaneous other pieces of travel gear. I think I’ve managed to narrow down exactly what I will be taking in regards to clothing, so that’s a relief.
3) Pre-travels! Matt Chan and I are planning to spend some time in the UK for around a week before meeting at Hotel St. Josef 3pm on Sunday May 25. Initially we intended to train it form London to Paris to Zurich but the $$$ was a bit much. Instead we’ll spend our time in the UK, maybe renting a car and visiting Scotland and Wales in addition to all the touristy things to see in London itself. More than anything I’m excited to be on the road and doing the travel thing, a way of life that was a big part of my early 20′s and very influential. The wanderlust has kind of subsided throughout my graduate work, but I’m getting amped up that I’ll have the chance to see and do new and exciting things soon!
4) GPP adventures! I’m really looking forward to meeting our counterparts in Basel. I think interacting with these individuals, as well as all the VT folks, will be a highlight of the trip and I hope to foster some long term friendships. Shared travel experiences, in my opinion, are just fantastic ways to get to know people and understand what makes them tick. As a professional people-watcher, this is something I look very much forward to, haha!