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In one week, I will be flying to London for a backpacking trip through a few countries in Europe and attending University of Westminster for four months.

I have finally come to terms with myself and realized, this is my last chance to study abroad, any later and it will be too late nor would I be able to graduate on time. It took about four months to get my financial aid approved through my University at Winona State. The wait ate me up inside but this is an experience I have been dreaming of for a long time, and I am finally throwing myself head first into it.

However, financial aid was not able to carry the full burden of the expense. As a total cost around $20k for a semester in Westminster, backpacking around for a couple weeks, round trip airfare and living expenses, it quickly turned into a guiltful experience. This is a once-in-a-lifetime-experience and I will never-ever get this chance again, so cost became no object, until it became too expensive.

I digress, my parents helped out with about 1/5 of the cost. This is because I was unable to raise enough funds working during the summer despite working 50-70hrs a week. However, one day, I hope to pay it back to my parents.

I am now left with the anxiety of planning the last loose-ends of my trip, establishing residency London, getting a proper phone carrier, suspending my AT&T phone, applying for a visa, proving I will be attending Westminster, staying in my first hostel, catching/missing my first train. But, 50+ pages of Google maps and proof of bookings will ease my excitement. On the side of backpacking around, I will be taking an online class and communicating to organizations I am involved in, but who is to say that my laptop suddenly never turns on or my pay-as-you-go Vodafone never activates; doubtful.

I am 21 and I am embarking on a life-altering adventure, solo. Here begins my life.


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