Trip Start May 22, 2008
Trip End Jun 21, 2008

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Where I stayed
My Apartment

Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, May 4, 2008

Since I've already been abroad on prior occasions, I don't have much to do in the way of preparation.  I already have my passport and some leftover traveler's checks.  I recently bought a large backpack for school to replace a bag on the verge of breaking, so I'll be able to use that.  No need for new luggage, luggage tags, locks, etc.  Well, actually, I'm thinking about buying combination locks so I don't have to keep up with keys, but that's another story.  I've got enough money from saving up over the past year to cover my day-to-day expenses.

Recently I got all my clothes out of drawers, out of the closet, off the floor, suitcases that weren't unpacked from my most recent move (in August of 2007, how sad is that?), etc, and sorted through everything to see what I could take and what would be best left at home.  I'm pretty sure that, like last time, my suitcase will be crammed with clothing.  Fortunately, because I like to take light weight knits that don't wrinkle too much, I won't exceed the weight limit.  Plus the fact that I don't take things like hair dryers, straighteners, products, etc, just a hairbrush.  I'll take travel size shampoo and buy a full sized bottle when I get there, not much else in that regard.  Please people...there is zero point in being all prissy over a study abroad trip.  NOBODY CARES if your hair is a bit wavy from the humidity.  Chances are, so is everyone else's.  I'll have the added benefit of not having to do laundry at $4 a load.  

The other important preparation I've made is what to do with my laptop and car so that they aren't left unattended at the apartment complex for a month, but I still have fairly immediate access to them when I fly back into San Angelo.  Problem: of my three closest friends, one will be working at a Boy Scout camp the entire time I'll be gone, therefore out of commission in babysitting my car, and even if he weren't would be living at his parent's house, ergo with limited parking.  One has no idea if she'll even be in San Angelo by then because her husband might be attending law school, or might be attending grad school here.  Fortunately for me, Greg will be in San Angelo the whole month and lives in an apartment complex with an adequately sized parking lot.  He's agreed to babysit my computer and car while I'm gone.  I'm going to leave the car with him, and he'll drive it every few days or so to make sure my spark plugs and battery stay in good working order.  Thanks, Greg!  I'm pretty sure that Greg and Andrew are going to take me to the airport the day I fly out, and Greg will probably pick me up when I get back.

I am considering purchasing a GSM phone from Sprint for about $130.  The prices per minute, even in the most advanced nations of western Europe, are absolutely atrocious, so I don't plan on using this as my primary communication device, but in case something happens in the States I need to know about, friends and family can contact me directly, instead of trying to find me through my sponsor or whatever hotel/hostel in which I'm staying at the time.

Right now, my plan of action is to head to Littlefield after finals are over to spend time with my family for about five days, then come back to San Angelo to try to wrap things up here, such as pre-paying my rent, etc, and hang out with friends until I leave.  Sadly, I'm kind of used to being away from my family for 4-8 weeks at a time, but I'm used to seeing a lot of people I'll be leaving behind in San Angelo every day.  I actually find myself being a bit nervous about that.  Fortunately, the trip immediately following this one includes Greg and Andrew, as well as our friend Aarika, PLUS meeting our friends Alex and Zoe in Prague.  :D
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