Wednesday, July 30, 2008

20 and counting

Buongiorno, all. So today is the 30th, meaning it's only 20 days from today til I leave. I got a cell phone for Europe, which I said I'd do, and it's free to receive all calls (# will be provided when I receive it) and it's about 30 cents a minute to talk to home and those at home, and of the biggest importance, to Athens where someone will be who I hope to talk to a few minutes every day. And that someone is pretty much amazing. We went to the Enchanted Forest today--a surprise from her--and we had a blast. We'll have a blastoverseas too, I don't doubt, like say in Egypt, anyone?

Um, yeah. Without a doubt. Camels? Pyramids? The Parthenon? Awesome. Speaking of, I figured out a tenative trip schedule for my October 30th to November 9th break, with Egypt from the 30th to the 1st, Athens from the 2nd to the 4th, London from the 4th to the 6th (election in England, should be fun), and Paris from the 6th to the 8th, returning to Rome on the 8th. And I get to spend half of that with KK, which is around her birthday time, so that'll be grand to say the least.

The exchange rate is eh right now, and I don't really want to change a bunch of money over I don't have to yet, and hopefully we'll be looking a bit better as the weeks progress as well as when I'm over there. But I leave the 19th regardless, andTravis and Camille will be there the last weekend in August, so I'll have a flavor of home after a couple weeks away. It's getting so close, it's tough not to get antsy.

Anyway, just staying in the habit of updating. Ciao.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Odds and Ends

So I'm just over 3 weeks out from leaving, and still trying to get this updating to be a force of habit. I really do want this to keep up when I'm abroad if for no other reason than to keep track of what I did after it's all said and done. This portion of my journey is an interesting one, insofar as that I am completely finished with all the paperwork, visas, travel arrangements, and documentation, but yet to start my actual trip. Soooooo not that exciting to talk about.

I looked in to cell phones like I said I was going to, and it's expensive to do much of anything, but not prohibitively so. It looks like cell phones run about 35-60 American cents per minute, while SkypeOut offers roughly 25 cents a minute to do the same calls. Gotta love the internet. I think I'll have it in my room, so that'd make my talking a bit easier, especially if anyone has Skype, since I can just talk to you for free! Also, since I'll be dealing with a 2-4 siesta every day, I'll have plenty of time to Skype / email / blog / facebook / you name it. I'll post my Skype ID when I start it up again, but as of right now I've still got craig.david.hill as my ID.

But other than that excitement, I'm just putting in work, earning some money and oh yeah, moving back into my house. After 2 years of construction, setbacks, frustration, and much mockery from myself at my family who honestly believed we'd finish on schedule all along, I'm typing this blog at my kitchen table. It's really nice to have a home again, albeit for about oh 4 weeks. Come by and visit me if you're up in the neighborhood, I'd love to give you the grand tour.

I hope all's well in your respective worlds all any of you who read this as of yet, it's going live on Facebook with tagging galore probably in about 2 weeks when things get even closer. Anyway, off to work.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Inching Closer

So today marks a month from the first day I'm in Europe, and yesterday marked a month til I leave for Roma.

In case you were wondering, I feel simultaneously both insanely excited and outrageously unprepared to live in a foreign country for 4 months. I speak no Italian (though I've done a little research into assuring I can pronounce most letter groupings correctly), I don't know exactly what I'm taking (but I know I'll have the space), and I hardly know where I'm living, what I'm taking, and how much time I'll have to travel (but that's not too much of anything to worry about). I am not much of a chef either, and I have to make all my own meals or eat out, so this could be an interesting experience too, no doubt. I've got to figure out cell phone and sim card goodness this week too, but Skype is going to be the chief form of overseas communication I think. I'll update with my Skype stuff when I make sure I have it all set up the way I want it.

But it's not even a month away. I looked at my Visa last night and took a long, hard look at my passport, and I got really excited thinking about how different it's going to look in just a few months, but even more than that, how different I'm going to be from these experiences (even if those differences leave me completely broke). Excited much hardly begins to describe it.

In other news, I saw the Dark Knight with Kirsten on Friday, and whoa. Worth the hype. Worth the wait. Go see it if you haven't. And yes, I am still working at Gap Kids, and getting a few more hours. Retail is a weird, weird world, and I'm learning a lot, I just wish I could be working a bit more, but with time I guess that will come (and the fact that I'm going to start getting more and more hours the closer I get to leaving is the exact opposite of what I would've hoped for, but what can you do?). Oh, and I've watched Arrested Development entirely this summer--aka the greatest comedy television series I've ever seen--and I'm a season into It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and it's been pretty awesome too. Both worth watching, especially AD.

Anddddd I'm bummed KK is leaving all next week. I am going to be moving back home though, hard to argue with that excitement, it's a bummer she's outta town and can't come see it all as we move in. Plus, we're apart a lot here in a month so it sucks she's out of town, but we've had tons of quality time together and there's plenty more to come in the next few weeks.

So, on the horizon:

*Moving into our house after 2 years of waiting.
*Getting a cell phone for Europa
*Working at Gap Kids
*Flugtag Saturday after next, who can't be excited about that?
*Europe in a month . . . and I can't wait


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Now to be slightly ironic. . .

It's a little funny, trying out the blogger idea. I really like Google everything. Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Maps, and so I thought I'd give Blogger a try, especially having seen it in action recently. But since the title of this blog is "Now That It's In The Rearview. . ." I thought it only fitting to look forward towards what I want to accomplish with this project.

I am starting this blog to chronicle my life and world travels, perhaps with pictures, stories, and anything else that strikes my fancy. I really don't want to seem like one of those 'look at me! I'm in Europe!' people, but hey, I'm going to Europe, and damnit, if for no one else other than myself, I'm going to keep a running record of what's going on. I'm going to Rome on August 19th and leaving Europe on the 23rd of December to be home for the holidays. I hope to keep everything up to date and please, please ask questions, keep me updating, and make suggestions. If there's something I must be doing and I'm not or am oblivious to, make me aware of it.

To my family, you either have never been here before or haven't been here in a longgggg time. I hope this gives you some insight into what it's like to live in Europe (namely Rome) and speak no Italian.

To my friends, I know many of you are in Europe for abroad too, so keep me posted as to your travels. Who knows? We can meet up or trade suggestions on things to do or see. To those of you who aren't in Europe and are back stateside, leave a comment and keep me updated about you and any similar experiences or suggestions.

And to everyone: I'm going to live my life and share some of it with you. Here's to living.