Thursday, February 9, 2012

And so the final countdown to departure begins.  It is still ten days until I get on the plane for New Zealand, but I already started packing about four days ago.  But if you count the day after Christmas when I set all my new luggage out to examine their sizes and how much I could possibly fit in them, I guess it's been more like a month and a half since I started organizing all my travel gear.  For all inquiring minds, I depart from Kansas City the 19th of February, off to Dallas, then Los Angeles, then 18 hours to Auckland to stay a week for orientation.  My final destination will be Wellington, which of course as you all may have guessed, will be my home for the duration of five months.

I should probably make myself a to-do list before I leave, as in an "adventure list."  I bought this travel guide for New Zealand a while back and I haven't even read it.  I mean, if skimming counts as reading then yes I have read the guide, but I really should have taken some notes.  Just yesterday I looked up my apartment location relative to campus.  Yesterday!  I feel like there are some study abroad students who have probably printed off a map and drawn red lines on it to mark all the best restaurants, shopping, etc.  I figured I'll get lost and make wrong turns a bajillion times the first couple weeks, as many of you have probably figured as well, I am a horrific navigator.  The only way I'm going to remember how to get from place to place is walking/riding there myself.

Ok.  First post almost complete!  Here is the beginning of my list of things to not forget to do before I leave:

1. Find more gluten-free food to pack (must be able to fit in my luggage).
2. Don't forget to pack underwear!
3. Make my parents an itinerary (they will freak out if they don't know where I am).
4. Make Ben an itinerary/class schedule (he will freak out if he doesn't hear from me).
5. Say farewell, etc., etc.

Adventure list to be continued...

Luckily, AustraLearn has an online to-do list for everyone, with very specific deadlines for each item.  They have taken care of sending out my student visa application (which according to NZ laws restricts international students from working anywhere, on or off campus), booking a travel agent for my flight itinerary to and from NZ (through STA Travel),  setting me up with accommodation (they take top 5 preferences, a survey of your personality, and tell you how much each place will cost), and helping me pick classes to enroll.

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