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First of all, I want to apologize for how out-of-date my blog has been. I have yet to finish transcribing my West African trip and begin my Bahamas entries as well. I was registered for 26 credit hours this last semester, still playing hockey, working, and interviewing for the first job (which I finally accepted!), not to mention worrying about finding a new apartment and moving at the same time I had to pack for this trip…But I am putting those entries on hiatus for now in order to keep my current trip followable for my friends. I’ll update them here and there, but realistically I don’t expect to be fully up-to-date until the fall. Bear with me.

In the meantime, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster having to adapt to several huge changes in my life all over the course of a few months. One of the hardest parts began when I said goodbye to some friends. For some of them, goodbyes were alright. I know now I will be returning to the Cleveland area when I’m back, I’ll just miss them for the summer. For others, it was just a hard goodbye because I had friends leaving for the summer and internships, friends that I hope to see when school is back or that I might fly to visit if they are still interning next semester. Then there were the other goodbyes, the ones for friends who aren’t leaving yet but who are moving to the next parts of their lives before I get back. Premature goodbyes. And goodbyes to friends who are going off to school in another state, who may never move back.

Then there was my room, my house, my cats, and my family. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to my grandma. Packing was hellish, traffic was worse, and my mom got me to the airport just in time to stand in line and say things that only made me cry harder. I’m grabbing a strange Buffalo tofu burrito with celery, bleu cheese, and the works, and my grandma calls me. She has to hang up curtly because she’s crying and I can tell. Now I’m crying again.

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Today I leave Pittsburgh and ultimately land in New Delhi, India to begin a two week program for my final Engineering course at Case. This trip, thankfully, is fully planned for me. The rest of my summer? Not so much. I have a flight booked to Warsaw, Poland at the end of the program, I am enrolled in two classes in Arles, France with IES Abroad between June 20th and July 31st, and I have a flight home from Dublin, Ireland on August 15th. My trip is basically divided into four parts: India, Eastern/Central Europe, France, and Paris/UK/Ireland. Yesterday I hurried to buy train tickets from Budapest to Munich to Venice, from Venice to Dijon to Arles, and from Arles to Nimes to Paris. I also reserved two nights at a hostel in Venice, my one splurge in the trip. I’m fortunate to have friends all around the world who will be hosting me in many places that I visit. I may encounter some friends who are also touring Europe while I am. Finally, my dear friend Dan is making his way from California, fresh from the Navy, to accompany me in Paris and on our way north. We hope to start fancy with dinner in the Eiffel Tower, then end rugged and probably out of clean clothes while hiking and camping in the Highlands.

Packing? A nightmare and a half. How do you pack for 120F in India clear to, say, 40F nights in Belfast? Carefully. I have 12 pairs of underwear, 5 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of shoes, and a small suitcase worth of clothes. I have a book bag for my laptop, money, and school stuff. My large suitcase? Mostly empty now, apart from hockey gloves, roller hockey skates, and a bag full of outdoor wheels. 3 months without hockey? No way! I’ll buy a stick there. And the skates will serve dual purposes outdoors by getting me around Arles. I should probably not blade near Venice, though… I might fall in!

Off to LaGuardia. I’m praying that I can get my shuttle quickly to Newark (ugh!) because I’ve got about 3 hours to make my Mumbai flight. I’ll have 3 hours in Mumbai before Delhi. I’m excited… the place actually looks quite nice!

P.S. I’ve been asked to be a culture columnist for the Athenian! Look forward to some electronic weekly entries about my travels starting some time in June 🙂 A great way to make cash as I tour the world!

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Me and Will, who left for Minnesota and will be interning until spring in Nebraska 😦 </3

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Claire and Paul will be in Colorado by the time I’m back! 😦Image

I hope to see Ann in Cleveland come August 🙂Image

Michael will be going to school in California at Berkley 😦

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Me and Claire eating honey sticks like we’re five at an art gallery last week in Cleveland.

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My impressively light selection of clothes for 3 months.