Preparation Part 1: 2-3 Weeks Until Take-off

I’ve had a busy couple of weeks since I was officially able to call my Florence, Italy trip a go.  Because I’d originally thought I was going to have to drop out of the program due to its nearly (but not quite, in the end) prohibitive cost, I had missed a lot of deadlines.  With three weeks until the trip was supposed to begin I had not gotten the required physical or even applied for a passport, which meant a lot of last minute hustle to get everything done in between three college classes and a full-time work load (not to mention daily life stuff).  So this is a short list of what I’ve been doing the last two weeks:

  • I applied for my passport and paid an extra $60 to get the application expedited, plus $30 in shipping so the application and the passport could be overnighted.  I did this on March 1 and my passport arrived today, giving me just enough time to…
  • Register with the US Embassy.
  • Go to the doctor to get a physical and a tetanus shot. (ouch).
  • Call my credit union to let them know where and when I’d be going so my credit and debit card would work abroad (which reminds me, I still need to ask them if/how much I’ll be charged in fees for using an ATM or making purchases abroad).
  • Contact the financial aid office at my college to sign over my financial aid check to my boyfriend so that he could deposit it in my checking account (since they hand over checks the first day of the quarter and I won’t be here).
  • Budget, and then work a ton of overtime to make the budget work.
  • Buy some clothes for the trip (a dress, a skirt, and slacks — plus my mom bought me a trench coat) and do all my laundry so that I could try on all of my clothes to pick the best outfits for the next two months.
  • Finish going through my iTunes library A-Z so it’s totally organized (essential for the long plane ride).
  • Research Florence!  The best resources so far have been The Florentine, the AIFS Florence Blog (plus the student blogs they feature to the side), and Visit Florence.
  • Download Let’s Learn Italian! from iTunes so that I could get around the airport (plus I bought Barron’s Italian Visual Language Guide).
  • Email & meet with the director/coordinators/professor/students involved in the program (well actually, I haven’t met the other students yet — I won’t see them until we move in together).
  • Keep track of the Euro so that I can figure out the best time to trade in my dollars — so far it’s gone from about $1000USD/$680E to $1000USD/$760E, so it’s getting better…
  • Buy a cute journal (because I sold my MacBook to help finance the trip — eep!  I’ve only got an iPhone to see me through).
  • Download some iPhone apps for travelers.
  • Set up a Flickr account (which you might have noticed to the side of the blog) as a photo dump for my iPhone.
  • Check out the time difference (it’s currently 9:34pm on Tuesday here and in Florence it’s 5:34am Wednesday) and the weather:
  • Start reading The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici by Christopher Hibbert.

I’m sure there is more but I don’t want to make the list too long.  Of course, I’ve been trying to keep up with my goals too, but the success is a bit spotty, especially now that I’m in the last week of college (not to mention my last week in the states).  The two goals I’ve met most easily are cleaning and spending more time with the pets, but that last one is easy peasy.

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4 thoughts on “Preparation Part 1: 2-3 Weeks Until Take-off

  1. Michelle, Rod mentioned your Italy trip to me and I think it’s W*O*N*D*E*R*F*U*L ! !

    Know you’re having a wonderful time and seeing some spectacular sites.

    Rimani benedetto, felice, sano e prospero viaggio … e sicuro!

    Cindy (Rod’s cousin) 🙂

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