For the past several weeks I have been busy getting ready for my ten month study abroad in Croatia. Due to my fussy nature the amount of times I have packed, unpacked, and then re-packed is unfathomable for most. Despite my obsessive tendencies to perfect the art of packing I have been calm and relatively at ease about the upcoming events. Until this morning that is, I woke up still groggy from last night’s State Fair adventure, went down stairs to cook breakfast, and as I sat eating my gluten free cinnamon raison toast it all hit me at once. Feelings of excitement and irrational fear flooded in without any warning. All of a sudden my calm and collected thoughts were nowhere to be found and I was left with a brain that felt like it had just come out of the washing machine and a half eaten piece of cinnamon raison toast.

I realize that it is perfectly normal to get pre-departure anxiety and I am surprised that my calmness lasted this long. I am a seasoned traveller and somewhat expected the miniature panic attack but hoped that I had done enough traveling at this point to skip that part of the ritual. Apparently not.

In a desperate attempt to calm myself down I went upstairs and pulled everything out of my suitcase and began re-packing. That is when I found an old ticket stub wedged deep in the lining of my suitcase. It was from a carnival that some friends and I had gone to while I was studying abroad in Switzerland. I looked down at the stub and smiled. Within five minutes I was back to happy thoughts and a fully packed suitcase.