So I don't want to overreact, but it's probably time to get out my suitcase and start packing. Actually, laundry comes before packing, so it's time for me to do that. I leave tomorrow for Eastern Europe. I'm nervous (!) and excited and overwhelmed. Tired. Happy. Overwhelmed. (That's twice.) I have actually been preparing tonight in a few small ways - loading my iPod with episodes of Dr. 90210 and very carefully picking out a stack of books to bring. Foreign authors? Yes. Stories that contain even vague traces of airline problems or references to violent situations occurring in other countries? No. I've picked out four yummy ones so far, and then I have two guidebooks to help me figure out what's what. Of course I realize that I won't be completely ok if I find myself in Poland with six books and no underwear, but it feels important right now to bring good books. Maybe it's time to go to bed.
So I'm starting in Germany tomorrow and I finish in Hungary in two weeks. In between is up for grabs. I'm bringing one small bag and all the courage I can muster. Not that big of a deal for other travelers, I'm sure, but I admit to being intimidated before every trip, especially solo trips. I've been looking forward to returning to Europe since I moved to Japan in 2002, so this is a really special getaway. If my work and personal stress even make it over there with me, I'll definitely leave it before I come home. Maybe in a pub somewhere in Prague. I don't know.
Have a great couple of weeks and I'll smell you all later!