Preparing for study abroad!

paros

Yes, I am studying abroad. No, I have not been accepted yet. But that’s just a minor detail. I have, of course, been completely obsessing over how I should prepare, what kind of clothes I should wear, and what kind of accessories/gadgets I should buy/prepare for my semester abroad.

I plan on going to Paros Island, Greece in the spring of 2015 and while I am there I will be visiting the other islands as well as Turkey. At the conclusion of my study abroad, my mom will be meeting me on the island and then we will be going on a cruise to visit more of Europe (Eeeek!).

So, what I have learned so far is I need to purchase a top notch camera. Currently I am debating between one of those fancy looking cameras like the Nikon D3100 that goes for about $400 or so, or a GoPro that I can take into those Grecian waters and significantly cheaper at around $200. Here is a great blog about necessary items for a semester abroad, notice the GoPro is definitely one of them: http://theabroadguide.com/15-items-to-get-before-study-abroad/. This will probably be my biggest dilemma since so many  blogs are split down the middle on this issue.

Also, apparently, nobody slacks off when they dress. according to travelfashiongirl.com, in order to blend in with the locals, “it is important to remember that Athens is known to be a city that is smart-casual, which means that the men are dressed impeccably and the woman are unashamed of their bodies, and opt for clothing that enhance this, such as short skirts and incredibly high heels.” So i suppose I have an excuse to go shopping. My only dilemma is that I need to save room for the things (clothes, souvenirs, everything) I buy there. Here is the link on what to wear in Greece: http://travelfashiongirl.com/what-to-pack-for-a-trip-to-greece/. I’m thinking I will go for a boho/flowy kind of style that will translate well for my first semester when I am still in Whittier, to spring semester in Greece.

Traveling will be amazing, but I am so excited to visit as many local coffee shops as possible so I can get ideas for my own coffee shop! And though this may not be the norm for most study abroad participants, I am incredibly excited for my classes. I am taking a fiction writing class that is geared towards writing a novel and preparing it for publication. How cool is that?? Of course I am also taking a Greek Language class, that I am a little nervous for, but hopefully I can get a book or program to help me start to learn the language. I would really like to immerse myself as much as possible into the culture.

This article on the Huffington post appears to be incredibly helpful: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stacie-nevadomski-berdan/12-musthave-gifts-for-stu_b_4427376.html as well as this one: http://www.hackcollege.com/blog/2012/08/09/101-study-abroad-hacks.html

In conclusion, I am so excited to go!

Did you think it would be easy?

So quick to admit defeat, so quick to throw in the towel. Just give up because it wasn’t easy. 

Was it easy learning how to walk?

Was it easy leaving your parents on the first day of kindergarten? 

Was it easy learning how to ride a bike?

How about the first time you picked up a guitar, did you immediately know everything there is to know about play guitars? 

Or when you went on your first date. Was it easy going to meet that pretty girls father?

Was it easy to venture out on your own, whether it be college, or the workforce, or trying to make it big with your band. 

Was it easy getting down on one knee, and propose to the woman you love?

Was it easy being there in that hospital while your wife struggled to give birth?

Was it easy learning how to care for that newborn?

Was it easy to drop off that little child on her first day of kindergarten and leaving her there?

Maybe it’s not worth it. Maybe it’s all just too hard. 

You should have just had people carry you all of your life, and decided not to go to school. Chose not to ride a bike, and forget about guitar. No need to go on a first date, meeting girls is too hard, to awkward. Stay at home your whole life, live off of your parents. Not have even give a thought to having a wife or a baby, all of it is just not worth it. 

These joys are given to us in life, as gifts. No, they’re not always easy. Life is a messy and crazy thing, but that’s how you know your living it right. 

So now that you have gotten this dog, fulfilled this dream of yours, are you really going to give up so quickly, after two days? You expected her to fit into your life seamlessly, and without effort. She is 7 months old. She doesn’t know how to be alone, but she would have learned, as we all do, if you had given her a chance. So many people were around you, giving you advice. There are so many options and other reasonable outcomes. Yet you tenaciously held onto your own opinion of this isn’t right. It should be easier than this. So you took her back. This was your chance, and you gave up. It wouldn’t have taken much to keep her. She just needed to be trained, but I guess that was too hard. Maybe having a dog just isn’ t worth it.

Or maybe the best things in life are worth working for. 

10 Fabulous Books Set In Paris

There is such a romanticism associated with Paris. . . With good reason. 🙂

kim foster

books-set-in-paris

Paris offers an incredible backdrop for all kinds of stories. Whether it’s a historical tale, a thriller, a romance…the city itself adds a wonderful element of, well, je ne sais quois.

My second book is set in Paris, and it was pure pleasure to write a story set in a city I love so much. I have been lucky enough to have visited Paris several times, and I was honored to have reviewers comment that reading my book made them feel like they were right there, nibbling croissants, climbing the Eiffel Tower, exploring the misty streets of Montmartre….

Last month I did a roundup of the best movies set in Paris, but this month, we’re talking books.

Here’s a [highly eclectic] list of some of the best Paris-inspired books:

1. A Tale Of Two Cities

This masterpiece by Charles Dickens needs to be on every reader’s bookshelf–but don’t just read…

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Sink or Swim

Sink or swim...
I am continually asked about my tattoo. “Any special meaning?” They’ll probe doubtfully. Originally, I wanted to get the word strength as my tattoo, but that’s not very original. As I mused it over– and searched Pinterest vigorously– I came across the phrase I refuse to sink. This was getting closer, but it was not quite perfect yet. I knew there was something out there that was better; there was. I came across the phrase ‘Sink or Swim’ and right away I knew it was meant for me. As a life long swimmer (and when I say swimmer I don’t mean an occasional dip in the pool kinda swimmer, I mean wake up every single day at the crack of dawn all summer. During the school year, we spend god knows how many hours at school then go straight to practice for three more hours. Every other sport has a season. Not us. No breaks for swimmers. Anyways.) anything with the word swim struck a chord with me. It’s the most relatable thing for me. It’s also how I learned pretty much anything, especially math. Decimals *shudder*. Swimming was the best teaching tool for me, and I knew that it would be something that I would continue to hold onto for the rest of my life. It’s part of my identity. Even when I swear I hate it, even when I’m dead set of quitting, even when I sleep through a weeks worth of morning practices (whoops), swimming is part of me. And it taught me so much. It taught me you always have a choice, you can put in the effort and succeed, or you can half-ass it and get half-assed results. But mostly it taught me that I can achieve anything I set my mind. And that’s what my tattoo means to me, I can give up and sink, or I can leave it all in the water and swim.

 

My Blog

I’ve never had a blog before. I don’t even really know what to write. But I do know I have too many stories in my head to keep them bottled up. So I suppose this will be the place for that. I like to write, it’s a beautiful process. Some say eyes are the window to the soul, but I think it’s words. I also totally believe that the pen is mightier than the sword, that being said, the sword is pretty fucking bad ass too. Anyways, I’m rambling and I guess I should start thinking about my first real post. Stay tuned.