Teurope: thoughts down here in single figures

On the outside, I have been keen in these most recent months to maintain a sort of front in order to reassure those closest to me that I will be safe and sensible as I prepare to journey across my first section of the globe. While we have taken every kind of precaution with regards to protecting our safety on this trip, there are some grey areas which travel insurance will not cover, like: students who cannot be held responsible for their actions in the weeks prior to their departure because they are SO. BLOODY. EXCITED.

Many great ideas are passed around friend circles about embarking on these kind of ‘find yourself’ holidays. I speak on behalf of a majority when I say that the likelihood of such trips actually going through is probably around one in every hundred. Irregardless of our best intentions, external facts are generally why such plans fall through, like the fact you can barely afford survival as it is. The fact that there’s a good chance you’ll lose your nerve the first time you need to put in your card details, because some flights are non-refundable. The fact that exams are too close to when you plan to leave – fact or excuse?

And yet, here I am nine days away from a bus journey that will take me from Glasgow, the love of my life, for now, to London where my eyes will be opened in ways like never before.

The original plan was this, as unrealistic as it may seem:84

  1. Save every student loan payment possible from Aug-May
  2. Live off the wages from my part-time job for every stationery fuelled need in between
  3. Leave my job and focus on passing my university exams in May, 2015
  4. Online shop relentlessly for 2-3 weeks and get everything I need
  5. Finish my exams shortly after my travelling partner and wait out the longest 13 days of my life before departure

I can confirm that we have stuck rigidly to this plan. I feel a sense of achievement for not wasting my loan because some months it is so temping just to treat yourself: “I’ll just not go to [here] and buy this new camera.” Now, we will [fingers-crossed] reap the benefits of our hopefully-not-only-once-in-this-lifetime trip across the central Europe belt.

I feel so lucky to be alive.

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