I leave for Belgium in three weeks, five days, and seven hours. I decided to make this blog early because:
1. I am an insomniac, and what better is there to do at 3 a.m.?
2. I want my family to know about it before I leave, so they don't forget.
3. I am so excited about leaving for Belgium in three weeks, five days, and seven hours.
I took the title for this blog from one of my favorite poems by e.e. cummings (one of my favorite poets). He didn't title his poems, so it's known by its first line. It is a love poem, but I like the first thought it expresses: "somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond/ any experience,your eyes have their silence:"
That phrase "gladly beyond" is what has always attracted me to this particular poem. I am scared to be going to Belgium. I am scared to live in a new country for six months, far, far away from everything and everyone I've ever known. But more than I am scared, I am excited. This is an unparalleled opportunity. I like the idea of being out of my comfort zone for a little while - hence, gladly beyond.
For those of you who don't know, here is an abbreviated list of the things I will be doing in Belgium:
1. studying European policy, history, and institutions at a university in Brussels
2. interning at an as-yet-unknown policy firm or non-profit in Brussels
3. living in a housing complex with international students from all around the world
4. sharing a room with an awesome friend of mine from the Bronx
5. exploring every corner of the city
6. traveling all over Europe on weekends and during my two-week long spring break
7. entertaining any friends and family members who want to come visit
8. taking thousands of pictures
9. drinking lots of beer and eating lots of waffles
I hope that I'll be able to update this blog frequently with things that are mildly interesting to people who aren't myself. I wanted to create a blog partly because I love to journal and I want to be able to remember every detail of this adventure. However, I mostly created this blog because I know that every single one of my family members is going to want to know what's going on. I have a big family, and that's a lot of emails to write every single week. But if I have a travel blog... that's only one time to send one link to 30 aunts and uncles and cousins. Perfect.
Nothing very exciting should be happening over the next few weeks, at least in relation to my travels, so don't expect posting to begin until sometime after January 15, 2010. Hopefully I'm not boring.