Well, It’s Kind of a Funny Story: How the Girl Who Hates Traveling Decided to Wander Around Europe for a Semester

I’ve always been a bit of a comfort-zone sort of person. For those of you who know me personally and are snorting right now – no, really, it’s true. As much as a crazy person as I can be sometimes, I really and truly do like hanging out where I’m comfortable. And where I’m not comfortable would definitely be traveling. Family vacations I rely heavily on my parents to make sure we’re on the right plane, in the right place, and have everything scheduled to our heart’s content. When I jetted off to Boston, my dad booked the flight and I spent three hours in an airport doing breathing exercises. I’ve gotten better over the past year, but the prospect of going on vacation still gives me the hives. I always say I’d like to see the world, but I never thought I’d really fulfill that promise.

In stomps opportunity, with a college study abroad program that I’d be stupid to turn down. They ship eighty randomly-selected students – yes, all crazy, artsy, Emersonians – out to a remote castle – yes, a CASTLE – in the Netherlands – yes, this means Amsterdam – to take classes with an emphasis in European culture. Whew. I didn’t think it was possible to have that many dashes. Kasteel Well (thus the name pun for the title) is Emerson’s very own Holland retreat and I applied the night before in a haze of shrugging and “Eh, what can go wrong?”

I somehow got picked and lived a happy, blissful life until about three months ago when I realized that I was actually going. Not to say I wasn’t – or am not currently – excited, just that, well…I didn’t seem to think it through when I applied. The program is designed to have you travel all of Europe, giving you three day weekends and a few long weeks that you can use to explore to your heart’s content. And gee, that seems like a great idea until I open up sixteen tabs that’s all flight-booking and activities-to-do-in-Venice and hostel-review-sites…yeah, I’m scared. I will be touching down in Amsterdam a month from today and let me tell you that at this moment, I’m pretty much petrified.

But I’m also so very, very excited. I’m happy to have the opportunity to see both the things everyone says to see and the stuff that no one things to tell you. I’m excited to cram myself into a tiny European-sized bathroom. I’m excited to have someone spit on me in France. I’m excited to immerse myself in several cultures that I might not even know about just yet.

I honestly have nothing planned yet – apart from a stint at UK Warped and maybe Oktoberfest in Munich – and that’s okay. I’ll probably have a heart attack on the fourteen hour plane ride, but that’s okay too.  What I do know is that once I finally settle in, I’ll have the time of my life.

Now, what does this mean for you? Well, a lot of my posts are probably going to be about, well, Well. I’ve had pretty much everyone tell me that I need to keep them updated on where I’ll be jetting off to every weekend, but I’ve also had people ask me to post about the menial  you-wouldn’t-think-of-this things, which I think will be just as interesting. What I can promise you is that I’ll make every effort to post when I can, if only a few sentences and a bunch of unedited pictures. Oh, and there will be so, so many Well puns.

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