En knuten näve kan varken ge eller ta…

(A person that does not risk anything does not gain anything…)

Hi everyone!

My name is Dana and I’m a second year student in the Master of Public Administration program. I’m leaving for Uppsala, Sweden next Wednesday for a short-term course on educational and social policy.

Sweden is considered a welfare state, which means that its government is heavily involved in the social and economic protection of its citizens, so you do not see the disparity in wealth found in many countries across the world, including the U.S.

This is the first time I’ll be traveling abroad alone (although I’ll be meeting my class after a few days of solo adventuring). Because I’m very type A, I’ve been making lots of lists and picking up tons of last-minute odds and ends to make sure I have absolutely everything I need for a comfortable travel. Here is my short list of essentials*:

• US passport
• Adapter
• $100 in Swedish currency
• Extra iPhone battery
• Travel journal
• Sleep mask/ear plugs/travel blanket/warm socks
• Travel bag with lip balm, hand sani, lotion, Advil, toothbrush, eye drops, etc.)
• iPad + wireless keyboard
• Snacks for the flight
• Light reading (the 2nd and 3rd books in the Giver series)
• Copies of my flight itinerary, passport, and lodging reservations
Sweden prep

Sweden reads
(*Admittedly not that short).

I’ve also been compiling a bucket list of things to see and do during my non-academic time in Uppsala. Although I usually like to explore new places on foot and take in the things that look interesting along the way, I figure I’m going half way across the world and should take advantage of some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Here are few of those things I’m looking forward to checking out*:

• Biotopia – science and nature museum
• Linnaeus garden and museum – Carl Linnaeus was the pioneer of plant sexuality
• Ski Total Cykel – bike rental for city exploring
• Uppsala Domkyrka – one of the oldest cathedrals
• Dining along River Fyris – runs right through the city
• Pub 19 – adult drinking establishment
• Till Tugg – Spanish tapas
• Lingon – upscale Nordic cuisine
• O’Connor’s – a seemingly very American bar with over 1000 beers (if I’m feeling homesick)

(*I’m apparently interested in the same things overseas as I am at home…nerdy science adventures, eating, and cycling).

On a serious note, I’m really looking forward to this trip because I’ve only traveled abroad pretty minimally (and with loved ones). I’m long overdue and extremely anxious to explore the world on my own and step out of my comfort zone. I think experiences like travel, meeting new people, and seeing new places builds character, inner strength, and a curiosity for the unknown. These are all things that I hope to further develop on my adventure to Sweden.

I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences with you over the next few weeks.

Until then,
Dana

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