Tomorrow I will be embarking on an eight month journey that won’t take me home. At least, it won’t take me back to the same home. When I return from Geneva to RDU International Airport in three months, a lot will have changed. My parents will live somewhere else, my home will belong to a friendly family of six rather than the rambunctious Calders. This time, packing has been a little different. Add to the mix Carolyn’s graduation from high school, and my departure this weekend becomes a bit more hectic. When I return from Jordan in eight months, Carolyn will have finished her first semester at William and Mary, and my parents will have (fingers crossed!) settled into a new home. As I’ve explained to a handful of people, I’m not just packing for Geneva, or for Jordan, but for the rest of my life.
To back up and explain a little bit, this summer and fall, I’ll be putting in a lot of mileage between me and the Triangle. On Saturday, I leave for Geneva, Switzerland, where I’ll be working with UNICEF-CEE-CIS (United Nation’s Children’s Fund – Central and Eastern Europe – Confederation of Independent States). While in Geneva, I’ll have the opportunity to take some great classes, hang out with my friend (and last summer’s travel companion/housemate) Jamal, crisscross Europe and maybe pick up a bit of French (or at least refresh my Spanish).
After I return from Geneva in early August, I’ll have about 20 days at “home” (wherever that might be) before heading off on another adventure. In September, I head off again to spend the fall semester studying abroad in Amman, Jordan. There I’ll be studying Arabic and taking classes with the School for International Training, a program that sponsors study abroad programs worldwide. After four months in Amman, I’ll likely meet up with my family and travel around the region for a few days during the winter holidays before returning to Chapel Hill.
I’ve explained before that I don’t like goodbyes. I’ve never liked the finality that they imply. Tomorrow, I’m saying a final farewell to the redbrick house that I’ve called my home for the better part of fifteen years, and starting on a new adventure.