So here we are at T-15 days. Somehow the time has just started to creep. I find myself getting restless and frustrated. I've started doing mini-countdowns in my head: three more Spinning classes, one more Monday at work, one more payday.
In a stroke of luck, I called my doctor to see if he'd write me scripts in the event I encounter some intestinal nastiness while away. In the end I came away with a nuclear arsenal for anything that might bother me, and as a bonus, Hepatitis A shot too. Apparently, Russia has an "intermediate risk level" according to the CDC, so it's a wise move to get a vaccine. Even though it's a two-shot deal, one shot now should cover me when I'm there. I'll get the booster in 6 months, just because it seems like a smart thing to do given the amount of travel that I do. In the meantime, I've got an achy arm to remind me of the upcoming trip. As if I need the reminding!
Trip planning continues, and I believe is almost done. I just received my new Capital One card in the mail (no foreign exchange fees on purchases!), I subbed out the four classes I will miss while I'm gone, and I finally found laminated city maps of both St. Petersburg and Moscow. I've sort of stopped doing historical reading for the trip, as my tolerance for any more history hit overload at the beach last weekend, so now I'm reading fiction, City of Thieves, to be exact, and I've found two possible fiction reads for the plane. I'm stockpiling magazines and making a list of things I can do on the flights, including study for the PT cert and watch past seasons of House, The Tudors and The Office on my iPod. Sudoku is always good for a few hours too. I copied and scanned to PDF my visa and passport, so those at home have it and can send it to me if I need a copy of it while I'm there. I think all that is left is to stop the newspaper, buy the cat food and let my credit card companies and banks know I'm traveling so they don't shut me down the first time I use my cards there.
I am excited. No, I am beyond excited. I feel like a puppy who's about to pee on your carpet if you excite me much more. I'm trying to see past the 13 hours travel time to just get there (and the 16 hours to get home!). I'm still mentally and emotionally locked up in wondering if I'm going to love this or loathe this or just get by. I'm really hoping I'll love it....this would be an expensive trip to not love so much. I think about things like navigating the metro in another language and another alphabet. I think about trying to order lunch or dinner. I think about trying to find a rest room when I hit the ground in St. Petersburg. It's been a long time since I've been personally challenged like this; like I said before, usually travel for me is a no-brainer. I just cannot wait to get there and see how it all plays out.