Well, there are about 48 hours until my plane takes off from DIA, depositing me in France via a short layover in Atlanta. There are so many things I have to do before I leave for the airport, and so many more that I would like to do before I leave the country for four months, but with the clock ticking steadily away (seriously, I can literally hear the clock in the living room counting off seconds), I am constantly re-evaluating what is really necessary.

On the plus side, the grand ordeal I thought would be packing is not really as difficult as I had originally anticipated. I am down to only one suitcase, which is definitely a good sign, as I am a chronic over-packer. However, the process it took to whittle my wardrobe down to a single piece of luggage was definitely devastating to the cleanliness of my room. I am currently looking at four unique knee-high piles of crap strewn around, and that doesn't include the generously sized messes I have left in my wake around the rest of the house. 

My parents threw me a going away party Sunday night, and a lot of my extended family and co-workers showed up. Since it was arranged pretty last-minute, I was surprised to see how many people came to see me off! It made me feel really good about leaving everyone behind, knowing how much they love me and how excited they are to follow my adventures--which means I need to really keep on top of this blogging thing! It will be convenient to have one place to document my travels, saving me the trouble of repeating the good stories over and over! 

People keep asking me if I am nervous to leave, but I really haven't felt much anxiety about what will happen when I get there! I have read a lot about the Provençal culture, and even though I certainly won't blend in, I am not worried about being actively disliked as an American. I expect to get lost, miss a train, or embarrass myself by saying the wrong thing in French, but all of those situations are just part of the experience of studying abroad. Instead of being nervous, I am entirely occupied by the things that must be done before I leave. Usually I would get really stressed out and overwhelmed in a situation like this, but I think my excitement is anesthetizing my worries.

The pictures on today's blog are from my going away party; the first depicts a garland my mom made for me of maps of France, the second photo shows the Colorado wild sunflowers I cut for the tabletop centerpieces.


Angie Wright
09/04/2012 1:36pm

I'm so excited for you! Can't wait to read about all your adventures on this blog!

09/06/2012 7:31pm

I can't tell you how proud I am that I know you!
Waiting to read more and more about "Madi's Big Adventure"

09/11/2012 9:37pm

Looks like your blog is going great! I really love it so far!
Your sun flowers look awesome, cant believe you picked them yourself! Nice find:)


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