So it begins. I have 7 days before I board a plane to leave this continent for a year. There is so much to do and prepare for that my thoughts can't seem to organize themselves into coherent sentences. I finally got my visa, pasted into my passport behind all the stamps I collected on my jaunt through South America. My violin is fixed, so I can bring it with me in case I'm ever really hard up for cash, plus it's fun to play and might act as an ice breaker in some social circles. I'm torn between buying cheap clothes here or bringing very little with me and doing a complete style make-over in Paris, which would probably lead to me blowing all my money for the semester in a month. I guess I'm bringing clothes then. I'm alternately gripped with panic "What the hell am I supposed to pack for a year? What if I forget something?" and a sort of zen calm when my mind empties itself of all worries.. more like flat-lining than enlightenment, really.. just overwhelmed to a state of refusing to even acknowledge it and thinking, hey, it'll all work out. And why not? Life's been good so far, why shouldn't that trend continue for me in Paris? I'll be fine, it's not like I'm out in the steppes of Russia or the plains of Kenya with no shopping center in sight. I will be able to exchange currency for sustenance. As long as that will hold true, what's the worst that could happen?