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Hey you guys! I’m incredibly excited to be meeting you in less than a week. Knowing that seven other people have signed up for this life-changing, kinda crazy adventure makes me feel a little less nervous as the date approaches and the realization dawns that one backpack can only fit so many pairs of flowy pants.


The first thing I’ll tell you is that I really love language. During junior year, I had the opportunity to study in Paris for two months. It was there that I got hooked on the nonstop education that is living abroad. Basic things like trying to shop for groceries or finding my way home without Google Maps suddenly became challenges, and language became an enormous barrier to connection.


Over the nine weeks, this barrier slowly broke down. My host family introduced me to famous French comedies at night and taught me how to make crepes in the morning. I started to figure out the metro system and explore the city on my own. Each new, tiny breakthrough made me glad I’d been pushed so far out of my comfort zone, and by the end of the exchange, I had formed long-lasting relationships with my French family and friends. I’m still immensely thankful for this time abroad. Just the other day at work, a Swiss teenager came in to buy a smoothie. Holding a conversation with her in French was one of the best parts of my day, and I couldn’t stop smiling as I chopped beets afterward.


I love writing, too! I write a lot in my journal, and I have a few short stories that I’m proud of. I definitely want to use the adventures and experiences I have this year as creative fuel for my work. I’m also currently compiling a big reading list for the next nine months — if you guys have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them!!


Other than that — I really enjoy podcasts, and one of my best friends and I recorded our first (and prooobably only) episode last week. I’m currently binge-watching The Office, and I love going to horror movies with my dad at our local indie theater, the Naro.


I hope you guys have an amazing last week at home! I can’t wait to meet you and discover Indonesia together.