The plane ticket is bought, vaccinations are updated, and papers are signed. Everything is in motion and I can hardly focus on anything but Argentina! I'm a crazy mix of nervous, excited, and anxious to start my adventure over 5,000 miles away from home. In 25 days, I will be leaving the United States for the first time.
Because I have so many wonderful friends and family that I would like to keep in touch with while I'm gone I thought a blog would be a great way to keep everyone up-to-date on what I'm doing. Plus its part of my requirement for being awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship (which is awesome!) so I'm killing two birds with one stone so to speak.
So currently I've been spending all of my time finishing up last minute things I need to do before I leave the country for 4 months. The list gets a lot longer than you would think! Here are some of the things I'm doing and you should do if you're getting ready to leave:
- Renew all your prescriptions and get enough to last you the whole trip. I'm going to get more contacts so I have plenty for the duration of my time in Argentina.
- Get a haircut! I am really particular about who cuts my hair so I'm going right before I leave to avoid having to find a stylist in Argentina and explaining what I want to be done in a second language.
- Arrange to pay any bills ahead of time. I have my phone bill set up to pay online so I can easily do it while I'm in South America.
- Let your bank, phone company, etc know you will be out of the country. This is a major pain in the butt, at least when it comes to the phone company, but you need to let them know you're out of the country to avoid having your accounts frozen or racking up massive charges for being abroad.
- Find out what essentials you can't get there. So this step is a little more complicated and just requires shifting through some google searches but I have a feeling it will be well worth my time. Depending on where you are going certain things may not be available. Apparently feminine hygiene products and hand sanitizer are more difficult to get in South America so you should bring some with you. That's a pretty good thing to know!
- Read, read, read!! One of the biggest things I've been doing is reading websites and other blogs about Argentinian culture, customs, and tips for traveling safety.
The hardest part of all of this is that I can't prepare or control what exactly will happen. I have no idea what will happen when I step off that plane in Buenos Aires, but I have a feeling it will be good.
I'll post again soon about what and how I'm packing for the next 4 months in 1 suitcase, 1 carry-on bag, and 1 backpack.