Monday, February 23, 2009

Vietnam and Europe

So, in nine days, on March 4th, I'm leaving for Vietnam. I'll be there for about a month or five weeks, and then I'll be in Europe for about a month and a half. I won't be back until May 25th.

I've traveled abroad a few times before, so I'm not too worried, but Vietnam will certainly be a bit of a culture shock. I've been to Egypt, which will probably be the closest, culture-wise. Europe and Canada, while different than the US, are close enough that I feel just as comfortable there as I do in any city apart from Charlottesville or DC.
After Vietnam I'll be taking a short trip into Cambodia. I am, admittedly, a little worried about this. I suppose some of it is because of Cambodia's somewhat shady reputation and past. I know nothing bad will happen, but still, I get nervous easily.
After Cambodia and perhaps a little more Vietnam, off to Europe. We'll be going to the Netherlands and Norway, primarily. I was born in the Netherlands, so it's exciting to be heading back to see it. I don't remember a thing, as we came back to the States when I was just a few months old. Norway will also be a blast. I've always been a fan of Norwegian history and Norse mythology, and the country is beautiful.
After that, I'll be on my own (well, with my older brother, but he's more like a younger brother, and I'll be needing to take care of him, probably. He's never traveled much, and when he has it's always been with our parents. He's nearly finished with grad school and still living at home, and is rather far away from ever being a functional adult). I'm a little nervous, as it'll be my first time traveling any serious amount where I'm the one in the position of authority (as opposed to a parent or a teacher being in charge). It should be fun, though. I still haven't decided all where I want to go. Germany, France, Spain, probably Italy and Greece, if I can manage. I've been to those two before and they were awesome, Greece especially. I have a friend studying abroad in France it'd be fun to stop by and see. If it isn't too expensive I might take a hop over to Britain, but that requires train tickets separate from my Eurail pass, so we'll see about that.
And then I'll be flying back from Germany at the end of May (I get back on the 25th, but I can't remember what day I actually leave from Europe).

It will all be a blast, I'm sure. I know it'll be an eye-opening experience I'll never forget, and all that usual jazz about stuff like this. I just also know that it'll be rough at times. I will miss my friends here dearly. The first week will be very tough, as will the last week when I can't wait to get back. And I expect the ones in the middle will go by in an excited blur.

Also, a note: This blog will be listed with dates and times corresponding the the east coast of the USA. If it says I published something at some crazy hour, say, 4AM or something like that, keep in mind that Vietnam is 11 hours ahead of EDT, and that Europe is on average 5 hours ahead.

9 days until I leave, 91 until I get back.

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