While looking for some stuff I need in my collection of very unorganized boxes which sit around in a closet taking up space, I came across the journal I wrote the first time I moved overseas.
Up until then my travelling experience was very limited. I had been to Florida twice with my family. I had done a lot of camping trips: up to Thunder Bay and Tadousacc and Algonquin, down into New York State. I had been to Amy's dad's place in Detroit for some fun holidays that consisted mainly of acquiring ketchup in less-than-kosher ways and drinking underage in a parent-free house.
So, when I signed myself up for some excavating in England and got accepted into the exchange programme to the University of Edinburgh, I was amazingly happy to realise there was a 6 week gap between the two and I was going to get to go backpacking. I bought a travel journal and the Lonely Planet's Europe on a Shoestring the day I got the call telling me I was in the programme - before I even knew which university they were sending me to.
Reading my first observations about Britain, how I felt about travelling and leaving behind my family (granted, I had already moved out and gone to university, but still)- it's so funny and interesting. My written voice is so different, so young! I wish I had the time to read through the whole thing, and I suppose I might still manage to find the time, but by the looks of it it would take me a couple of hours at least.
I have a couple of other journals as well, though I am seldom good at keeping them up for long. Blogging definitely encourages more regularity, though I've gone through some sporadic periods here too. Next time I'm home, I'm going to make a pointed effort to go through all of that stuff. I meant to this time, but got sidetracked by the Buffy obsession and excessive magazine reading. Damn is it nice to live in a country with so many lefty, English-language mags.