Shove our shackles

It’s always painful to leave your favorite people behind, and I’m going to seriously miss my colleagues (and the few others I’ve managed to befriend here), but if I never had to return to this place again, I wouldn’t complain. I’d probably put on a banana hammock and dance through the streets. 
The past nine months in the States have been difficult for dumb reasons. I started a Master’s program in linguistics at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa (it’s like Iowa is trying to date itself here) and due to a number of things going wrong in the city, with the department, and with my (lack of a) love life, you might say Iowa City has been… Less than ideal. I wasn’t entirely ready to end my last trip, and despite wanting to return to school, the University of Iowa (read: University of the Corn) was not what I had expected it to be. But enough negativity. Okay, maybe just a little more (just for background– you understand). 
An old friend from high school had been planning on going to Europe with me for the summer to try out the whole backpacking nonsense, so I had bought us some tickets for the summer and had no intention of staying State-side over the summer of 2016. Unfortunately due to the structure of the department that runs my program, some funding issues, health issues for some of the key faculty, and lots of other stuff, there was very little holding my interest, and I was notified back in December that I needed to take a practicum in ESL at the university (despite having already taken one at Truman). Tried giving a teaching demo, didn’t pass, canceled the trip for the summer, sad forever. Signed up for the summer practicum, which meant paying $1750 out of pocket.
Then we get to four days ago. I receive an e-mail just two days before the practicum begins form a Scandinavian-Ukrainian intercultural program at a summer school in Chernivitsy. Not only had my application been accepted, most of the cost was being covered. How could I pass up a opportunity like that? 
Adrenaline kicks in, tears of happiness are flowing, I buy tickets abroad again. This time, I sign up for a TESL certification abroad after a few interviews (in order to make up for missing the practicum), and then receive an email stating I won’t be able to teach English here in the fall (which means I won’t have funding to go to school for the last year of my program) unless I take the practicum specifically at the University of Iowa. Well, I’m still not passing up the opportunity, and I tell the DEO I’ll be back next summer to take the practicum instead. Alright. Now we’re done with the negative stuff. 
So now, here we are, on the precipice of yet another upward spiral into frenetic freedom. Tickets are bought, mail is taken care of, stuff is (probably soon) packed, and the rest of the world is waiting. 
Life doesn’t always work out how you plan it, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from being alive and human, it’s that you should always take advantage of the opportunities you’re presented. If you’re unhappy about something, find a way to be happy about it, change it, or do something different. Take as many steps out of your comfort zone as you possibly can. Tell your friends you love them. Eat pizza. Hakuna matata.
At this point I literally have no clue what’s happening to me after Ukraine. I’ll come back to the states in August, but I’ll be eligible to work in Prague, so… you know. We’ll see. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Lord Huron– I’d describe him as a folk artist with a incredible skill for putting wanderlust and its associated heartbreak into words, so I’ll let one of his lyrics speak for me.
Oh, there’s a river that winds on forever

I’m gonna see where it leads

Oh, there’s a mountain that no man has mounted

I’m gonna stand on the peak
Out there’s a land that time don’t command

Wanna be the first to arrive

No time for ponderin’ why I’m a-wanderin’

Nowhere the buses lay
To the ends of the earth would you follow me?

There’s a world that was meant for our eyes to see

To the ends of the earth would you follow me?

If you won’t I must say my goodbyes to thee
What good is livin’ a life you’ve been given

If all you do is stand in one place
I’m on a river that winds on forever

Follow ’til I get where I’m goin’

Maybe I’m headin’ to die but I’m still gonna try

I guess I’m goin’ alone

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