By Hanan L’Estrange-Snowden (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA).
So right now I’m supposed to be packing, but the process of over-filling my suitcase has made me reflect on the coming year and I thought that this would be a good time to start my blog. To be honest, everything feels quite surreal right now. I have spent so long planning and preparing that it doesn’t feel like it is actually going to happen tomorrow.
The last few weeks I have been trying to ignore the tiny part of me that keeps reminding me that a year is a long time to be away. Even Christmas seems far away right now. However, now it is the night before, I only feel excited and disconcertingly calm.
I suppose it is because everything is ready I just need to pack and go. My accommodation has been paid for, health insurance organised and I have picked my dollars. Even my arrival is as planned as it can be. There is an international group at UNC called E.A.S.E. who have offered to pick us up from the airport when we arrive which is really helpful as Chapel Hill is about half an hour away from the airport. E.A.S.E. has also organised a bedding, bath and ‘cellphone’ package which should be waiting for me when I arrive. This is really good because it means I won’t have to rush out and buy things on the first day and I have a little more space in my suitcase for more important things. I mean how do you pack for an entire year?
Anyway, I have to get back to my packing! I’ll write again from the US!