Are you one of the thousands of students who is headed overseas to study abroad for a semester? Then, I realized that, as I overcome my fears as a human being, I will do so as a writer. Many were astonished by Pierce’s work in the now famous horror.
Are you one of the thousands of students who is headed overseas to study abroad for a semester? If so, everyone in your life is probably giving you advice on where to go, what to see, and how to get along with folks in a foreign country. While that advice is important, there’s something else you need to know: voltage transformers and plug adapters can make your life abroad much easier.
When we retired to Spain in 2003, we had all kinds of plans to become self sufficient in fruit and vegetables. It did not quite work out that way however as the soil was impoverished and the irrigation was non-existent. We have fruit trees all around us and grow oranges, tangerines, clementines, pears, figs, grapes, olives, lemons, meddlers, apples and quince. This gives us a long period of preparing jams, marmalades and chutney because the fruits mature at different times.
If you’re taking electrical appliances or electronics from the United States to any European city, you’ll probably need a voltage converter or voltage transformer. That means that if you can’t survive a semester in Paris without your hair dryer or your DVD player, you need to go shopping for voltage converters.
While voltage converters are often necessary, there are some exceptions. Many cell phone chargers and laptop battery chargers are dual use. They have their own built-in transformers, so you can plug them into a 110v outlet at home or a 220v outlet in your Barcelona dorm room with no problem. Read the label to make sure. If the label says 110v-220v, you won’t need a voltage transformer to plug it in when you’re studying abroad.
The summer of 1997, time delays notwithstanding, I decided that taking a train on my vacation would be a desirable mode of transportation. And ironically, during my travel from Los Angeles to my hometown, Detroit, I spoke to many like-minded travelers in my midst who were of the same mind. At any rate, as a writer, I found that during this period of “downtime,” there were other serendipitous benefits, more spiritual in nature, which were a payoff in this trip. Trains, for my ancestors, have always held the connotation of freedom. In general, in African-American literature, trains have been a symbol of freedom.
If your tracking system tells you you’re not heading in the right direction, of course you must change what you’re doing. Just as in driving from one place to the next, most journeys are never in a straight line. Expect and make the adjustments in what you’re doing to fit the path so you can get what you really want.
Then I asked myself, how full do I feel after eating just a small 1200 calorie portion of chips compared to 2 whole bags of small baby carrots, yes 2 whole bags of baby carrots that I love to eat just as a snack.
The tough part about this process? Having the discipline to pick up the phone when you don’t want to, and the willingness to keep reaching out even when the person on the other end of the phone may not always want to hear from you. Keep reminding yourself that your goals are worth the effort. If all else fails, sit back, sip a Diet Coke, and remember that Paris and I believe in you. Good luck!