The Beginning!

Okay. So I created this blog for the purpose of chronicling my awesome adventures while I spend a year living in Vienna, Austria, along with discussing such irrelevant and obscure topics as the meaning of children’s books and random, half-formed and poorly articulated philosophical musings. Having finished my Masters degree and seeing no clearly discernible life path wending its way before me (which, incidentally, I am perfectly okay with), I decided I was done with school for a while. I chose Vienna because my best friend, the fabulous Minkus, lived there while she was in high school and absolutely loved it, and wanted to go back there again. I registered with the Student Work Abroad Program (SWAP) in May, and handed in my visa application in early July, confident that this would be plenty of time for them to process the thing and get it back to me by the time I’d finished my research job at the end of August.

The hitch? I’ve been waiting for my temporary visa and passport to be returned to me for almost two months now. This has effectively put my adventure on hold, and I’ve basically been waiting in Sackville, New Brunswick for a magical email to tell me when I can leave. It’s been especially torturous because I’ve had no date to look forward to, no countdown for me to get excited about and for which to mentally prepare myself. I existed in a nebulous haze of daily expectation and disappointment, of checking for updates and receiving apologetically vague replies from people who told me that my application is an unexpectedly slow exception. Literally everyone I run into in the street or the coffee shop asks me why I’m still in this town, what I’m doing with my life, and–sometimes in accusing tones–why I look so well-rested in a town full of stressed-out university students in the midst of midterms and essays. I must be sporting that particular look of an unemployed, responsibility-free, mooching-off-the-parents type of person. I have been waiting in the calm (but sometimes maddeningly so) that exists at the eye of the storm.

No more. 

On Saturday morning, I am driving to Halifax, where I will board a plane that takes me to Toronto, and then on to Vienna. I’m a tiny little bit excited about this. I’ve basically been bouncing around my house with and flailing my arms about dramatically since I booked my flight. My dog’s been offering me sidelong, pitying glances like she knows I’m mentally unstable:

But she’s naturally melancholic and skeptical looking anyway; I think it’s a genetic strategy that allows us to love her even though she steals our stray socks at every available opportunity. I’m going to miss that look.

This afternoon my passport was finally FedExed to me, and the temporary visa looks legit. I’ve been binge drinking coffee all day in anticipation of that moment, so I’m too high on caffeine to concentrate on packing or doing much beyond grinning like an idiot. I love Sackville and the people who live here, but…I have mere hours left in this town! Mere hours.

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