The tickets are bought, the classes number fewer adn fewer, and my departure date inches ever closer!

I’ve just rung up a nicely sized debit on my poor bank account, but in return, I have a quick hop from Des Moines to Chicago, a long skip to the grand city of Istanbul, with a final jump to round off my aerial acrobatics. It’s sure to be one wild ride, but truly can’t wait for it to begin.

As of this writing, there are only three weeks between me and my departure. I can’t even begin to express how excited I am for this! As you might imagine, it’s becommig harder and harder to stay focused on my assignments. There are only two papers and my senior design project that I’m worried about, and I know that I should be buckling down, but the weather has just turned warm and sunny, so it’s nearly impossible for me to keep my nose at the grindstone.

I thought I’d give a short recap of the past few weeks (basically how I’ve been preparing), hopefully with my first video comming soon!

The most pressing issues that I’ve been dealing with have been banking and cellphone service. I’ve been in Germany twice before, and both times I was able to get by with a few wads of cash and a suitcase, but with this trip being a full 12 weeks long, I’m going to have to prepare a few redundencies in advance.

For banking, I’ve decided that I’m going to rely primarily on cash (cold, hard Euros, to be precise), with a internationally enabled debit card from US Bank for occasional withdraws and emergencies. In order to have it work properly at most European sales terminals, I’ve requested a new card with an embedded security chip, so theoretically I could just use it for most of my monatary needs. The catch is that my bank charges a 2% fee for any international usage of my card, along with some other fine-print charges and what-not. I figure that if I use my debit card to make a few large withdralals, I should be able to maximize my fun, while minimizing my debt.

In the past, I’ve been able to get by without a cellular device (and I if I could, I’d be perfectly fine without), but I’ve decided that in order to properly navigate and stay in touch with groups of friends while exploring new cities, I should probably find a cellphone provider instead of relying upon the shoddy public WiFi networks in Germany. I want to try and buy a pre-paid SIM card for my iPhone when I arrive in Germany, but sources say that this plan may not work (Verizon and all). To combat this, I’ve dug out my dinosaur of a phone, the good ol’ Sony Ericsson, just in case. I’ve never attempted this before, so I’ll be sure to report back with any do’s or don’ts I’m sure to expierence first hand.

Haven’t started packing yet (but if I could I would), but I’m planning on packing pretty light, and buying some new clothes when I arrive - my wardrobe is overdue for an update, anyway.