Almost packed. A few thoughts.
make it happen
Some people have reacted to my trip with envy or amazement and I just say, "you can make it happen, too." seriously. I decided to do this trip less than 2 months ago when I was in a bad spot. I remember sitting on the couch at my friends', probably in tears, feeling trapped and not very capable. Then something flipped and, "f- it, I'm going to Paris!" It took a little searching, socially engineering some systems, planning, loan getting, etc. Sure I'm fortunate to have an incredibly flexible job, a decent credit score, and an attitude, but I still think you can make it happen.
Not coming back
I have had several friends, co-workers, and complete strangers say, "you're not coming home." The plan is for me to return September 27. I guess that's all I have to say about that.
I'm actually looking forward to coming home to Madison. Maybe it took taking a large leap for things to come together for me here. I have good work, new friends, and a special underwear release party to come home to.
Tacky on the inside
I just finished the gift for my host mom. Creating a gift without having any sense of the person on the receiving end is a little bit stressful. The suggestions were- modest, practical, and unique to your area. I hope it works.
Back to whittling down the suitcase. Catch ya'll on the Paris side!