Hello again, old friends. I know it's been awhile, and that is entirely my fault. In the last three months, I've written a grand total of ONE (1) post, which is nothing short of pathetic for a girl who calls herself a travel blogger. I've even been traveling! I just suck. I hope you can forgive me, especially considering my content should increase exponentially in the next few weeks as I make the move from California to Germany (again).
For those of you who don't already know, I have accepted a place in the 2019 Masters cohort for European Studies - Governance and Regulation at the University of Bonn. It makes me sound much smarter than I am, I swear. In fact, I am 100% positive that I'm going to be painfully out of my league the moment I step into my first day of classes. Whatever, fake it till you make it, right? The program begins October 8th, but I fly out August 7th to settle into my apartment, visit some of my favorite people, and get my life together a little bit before I am inevitably inundated with exams and papers and work and whatever else I can fit in between.
While I'm a little nervous to jump back into scholastic life (considering it will have been two and a half years since I graduated with my bachelors by the time this Masters starts), I couldn't be more excited. Not only do I get to receive my Masters in something I'm passionate about, I get to do it in one of my favorite countries in the world. Mind you, I've wanted to move to Germany since I started learning German seven years ago. So this is like a pipe-dream-come-true sort of situation for me and I spend all my time bouncing between disbelief that it's actually happening, indescribable excitement for my future in Europe, and a burning desire not to leave because so many of my favorite people are on this side of the world and I am the biggest idiot for leaving them again. If you can recall, I found out that I had been accepted to this program when I landed in the Philippines and spent the next hour crying on the phone with my friends and family till I realized it was 3AM and I didn't have a hostel booked for the night. I am a walking contradiction in that somehow I be a US citizen applying for a masters in Germany from the WiFi-less tropical wonderland that is Southeast Asia, but I can't book a bed to sleep in more than a day in advance. Trust me, I don't get it either.
So, listen. This has been one of the best summers of my adult life, if not the best. I have spent all my time with either mine or Ky's family (my second family), and what time I haven't spent with them has been with my family in Texas. There hasn't been a second of peace or a single pause or dull moment. In fact, let me give you a (very) quick recap of the events since my return from Southeast Asia just to give you an idea of what a packed summer it's been.. Since coming home I've gone snowboarding, watched my best friend graduate college, camped on the beach (family tradition), spent two weeks with my grandparents in Texas, hit up the Del Mar Fair, went on countless coffee dates with my sisters, scuba dived with my mama, gone horseback riding, had reunions with some of my oldest friends (Becerzzz, Andy, Hailey and Maria, Steph), attended almost a dozen concerts, rock climbed with no harness, had violent (and theraputic) family water balloon fights, watched the 4th of July fireworks with both of my families (Bearce and Janecek), toured colleges all over NorCal for my baby sister, hiked Big Sur (kind of), went to my second Gay Pride Parade (this time in San Diego rather than Amsterdam), spent lots of time in the gym with mom, went whale watching and parasailing, played Shotzee (like Yahtzee but with shots so obviously way better), and fell more in love with my life than I ever have. There were no lulls, no times when we said no when we could have said yes, no shortage of laughs, and certainly no lack of love. It has been the fastest three months of my life but I can't think of a single thing that I would change about this summer... except maybe to extend it.
As for what's to come... where do I even start? On August 7th, I fly from LAX to Reykjavik, Iceland to enjoy a lovely 19h layover - over the course of which I will most certainly go back to the Blue Lagoon bc I haven't been to Iceland since I was like 17 - before a second flight to Dusseldorf, Germany. From there, I'll lug my massive duffel bags from hell to the train that will take me to my new town - Bonn - where my new roommate, Wiebke, has offered to pick me up and bring me to our apartment. Side note: Wiebke is adorable. We haven't even met yet and she's already invited me to her birthday celebration with her friends, to a concert, and to her parents house for the weekend in Hanover. Like, what? There are people that are that sweet and welcoming??? I found her (and my fab new apartment) online when she posted an ad looking for a roommate for the year while her long-term boyfriend travels the world. The situation is kind of perfect in terms of the fact that we both love to travel and read and have no shortage of things to talk about. Amazingly enough, her boyfriend reads a ton and plays piano just like me, and she offered to keep the books and the piano in my room rather than putting them in storage (my high school piano teacher will be very happy to hear about this). I literally could not be more excited.
I've chosen a one-year intensive program, so essentially I'm going to spend the next year getting my ass handed to me, but I sure do love a challenge. My hope is to get a part-time graduate position with an NGO or the UN so that I can... you know... have money to buy food... (thinking about setting up a GoFundMe and attaching the link to my blog idk man I'm desperate) and aside from that I think my time will be divided between the gym around the corner from my new place, the closest bar (sorry grandma) and quick trips to Manchester where Sassy and Becka are BOTH living - how incredibly convenient amirite??
My plan is to apply for a work visa upon completion of my studies and, according to my mother, "never come back." But I do want to come back!! ....... to visit. Still working on getting the Bearce and Janecek families to uproot their lives and move to Germany so that we don't have to be so damn far apart. I mean them coming to me makes waaay more sense than me staying in the States, right? I'll keep you posted on that front. As of now I'm not getting a lot of traction with my argument. In fact, Cindy and Steve offered to get me a FREAKIN' HUSKY PUPPY if I stayed in SoCal. SeRiOuSLy?? A HuSKy PUPPY?!?!? Cruel and unusual punishment, man. I freakin' love huskies. We have a lot in common seeing as how they shed their hair almost as much as I do, and we're both cute as hell. Anyway I already bought my ticket to Germany (what a surprise right I'm still two weeks out and I already have a ticket whaaaaat) or else I think I may have taken them up on their offer. But I digress.
Between now and when my Masters actually starts, I have to get a residence permit/visa, open a bank account, pick a new phone plan, register for school, do a whole bunch of summer reading (which probably won't happen, not gonna lie to ya), and get my brain back into school mode. Honestly it's been so long since I was in anything other than vacation mode I'm really not sure I'm capable of productivity anymore seeing as how I quit my job almost a full year ago and haven't done anything but travel ever since... I know, you all hate me and I am the worst, I got it, shut up.
I do want to say, though, to the friends I did not get to see and visit with or maybe just didn't see enough in my short time back in the States: please know that I love you, and I miss you, and I promise I'll see you next time. This was an absolute whirlwind of a summer but no matter how far away I may be, if you need me, I'm always just a Whatsapp call or text away. **Btw if you haven't downloaded Whatsapp yet that'll be the best way to message me aside from Facebook.
But as for right now, I am on a plane (SHOCKER) back to Texas to visit with my grandparents one more time before heading to Europe. I'm traveling with my mom and sisters this time and I'm not gonna lie it's freakin' strange traveling with other people considering I'm almost always alone (aside from those three straight months with Ky) and even more strange that I'll still have phone service when I land bc I stayed in the same country for once.
In the meantime, I'd love to know what you want to hear about in the coming year - do you want to know about the structure of my program? The differences in the daily life of Germans vs Americans? The best kinds of German beers (I can't drink 'em any more but I sure as hell used to)? The best time to COME VISIT ME BECAUSE YOU MISS ME? Y'all tell me. I know I still haven't written my "Traveling on a Budget" how-to, and I promise I'll get to it ASAP, but to be completely honest with you I can't see it happening before I leave bc I plan to spend every waking moment with my favorite humans on the planet before I have to leave them all again. I know I say "have to" as if this wasn't a choice, but I can't even begin to articulate to you the duality of my life in that half of my heart is with my people and the other half of my heart is all over the world. It sucks. I suck. This is dumb. But it's going to be one hell of a year, and I can't wait to take you all along for the ride.
For now I think I need a nap if I'm going to be expected to be a contributing member to the team so th-th-th-that's all folx.
Until next time,
About the Author
Mouth like a sailor, great lacker of empathy, paper cut survivor, avid arguer, harsh critic of people who put clothes on their pets, easily distracte
USA, Mexico, Iceland, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Malta, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary, England, Poland, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Scotland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, Greece
The Baltic countries,
if Covid allows for it (Latvia, Estonia, maybe a stop in Finland)
(in August in the US)