In roughly a week, I’m flying to London. I've spent the better part of the last three months preparing for this. I’ve kicked up my gym habit again during the summer (gotta look good in the pictures, amirite?) but mostly I’ve been shopping and Google searching like a fiend, trying to suss out what exactly I should be wearing in as many situations abroad that I can imagine. I’ve been driving friends and family crazy, talking about what leather boots I should bring and if I need rain boots (no) and what kinds of jackets and pants and sunglasses and everything I could possibly need and ohmygod will any of it even be in style over there??
A couple weeks ago, I woke up at 5 a.m. in a panic realizing I didn’t have a watch or GODFORBID appropriate club wear. It’s a strange moment to realize that your stress is literally over a couple pieces of clothing. Vanity’s a real bitch sometimes (maybe that’s why the devil wears Prada).
But I've been able to sleep easier once I’ve realized is that yes, this all is pretty vapid, but it's a part of my weird preoccupation with preparation. My outfits are essentially the only things I can plan right now for my time in London. Sure, I could try to book a flight to Florence or something, but there's way too many variables to drop that cash just yet.
There’s also something to be said about walking into a situation without any pre-conceived notions. I want to be tabula rasa (or as much as possible) when I’m wheels down in London town. Yeah, I want to at least have a bearing on where I am...which is probably why I’ve been clicking through my South Kensington neighborhood on Google Maps Street View every day for the past two weeks. Nevertheless, I've been trying hard not to establish any real expectations about my time in London, be they about classes, friends, travel, or whatever. I don't want to build this up in my head to be better than it actually will be...though from the sound of it, the London abroad experience is greater anything than I'd ever anticipate so maybe I'm just putting too much stock in my sense of imagination.
Now, over the next couple days, it’s all about packing up the clothes currently blanketing the floor of my bedroom, rolling them as tightly as possible and tucking them into suitcases. Finally putting my months-old mental packing list and outfit organization charts into action. Who knows if any of this will even matter once I land—but it’s a start, and a distraction from my real concerns like the dollar-to-pound exchange rate or making friends or those teen gangs a couple people warned me about. In the meantime, I’ll be debating how many club tops I can stuff into my carryon.