Planning for Abroad

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” 

– Yogi Berra

My bags are packed, I’m ready to go… In less than 24 hours I will be on a flight to Amsterdam to start my year abroad in Copenhagen. This has been a dream of mine since Junior year of high school, when a Washington State University grad told me about an amazing semester he had at DIS Copenhagen. Since then, I have found a passion for sustainable architecture and sustainable living as a whole and through research confirmed my dream of studying in Copenhagen: a city that is going carbon-neutral in 2025 and has many buildings that function as more than just buildings such as 8-house, their new waste to energy plant, etc.

I am notorious for procrastinating packing and getting ready for any large trips due to nervousness. Questions such as “am a really prepared…,” “do I feel confident in spending this much time away from family,” and “will all my reservations and travel work out” were consistently floating across my mind. To help combat this unease, I made myself pack at least a whole day in advance (timely, I know), where I was finally able to relax and truly look forward to the great experiences that I undoubtedly will have this next year. I finally settled on bringing three bags, an Osprey Farpoint 55 L Men’s checked bag, an Osprey Farpoint 40 L carry-on (had to make sure it fit the new international carry-on size), and my school backpack.

My three bags I am taking

When I last traveled to Europe I was with a group of 200 high school students as part of the Washington Ambassadors of Music where we stayed in hotels and bused between cities. I am looking forward to being partially independent in my travels. For at least fall semester, I will be staying with a host family in Roskilde, approximately 20 miles from DIS and downtown Copenhagen and last week I was able to Skype with them where I got to meet their very cute one-year-old, who was trying to grab the phone out of his mom’s hand throughout our entire conversation. This semester I will be taking the Furniture Design studio where I will be hand crafting a small chair, table, or stool (based off of previous students’ recommendations and stories).

In the past when I have done big trips with my family, boy scouts, or on my own, I never really thought about writing my experiences, only taking pictures and then telling the stories orally when I got back home. Now that I will be gone for a full school year, blogging is a chance to tell those stories to people like you in a much more controlled and structured setting. Also, memories start to fade over time and while a picture is said to say a thousand words, if one cannot remember even 500 of those words, a blog would be beneficial. Over the course of the upcoming months, I will be updating this blog at least weekly, if not more often.

Published by Josiah

I am a 21 year old studying architecture and applied mathematics at Cal Poly in SLO. I am spending a full school year abroad in Copenhagen studying architecture at DIS

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