Day One

August 28th

Hello world.

It’s 7:30PM in California and 4:30AM in Florence. I’m 3.5 hours into my flight to Paris, where I’ll take a connecting flight to Florence, where I’ll begin nearly four months of exploring Europe (I’ve also been told I’ll be studying, TBD on that part).

It feels surreal. Correction: it is surreal. I’m traveling somewhere, but not as a tourist. The not as a tourist part is the part that I can’t fully grasp yet.

But, before I say anymore whimsical lines I should introduce you to my blog. The last time I published on the internet I was writing about the BD (Before Durant) Warriors. So, why am I writing during my trip abroad?

  1. To help myself remember it. Writing helps me synthesize things. At Amazon, CEO Jeff Bezos mandates that all presentations are given not in Powerpoint, but rather in narrative stories (they have to be under 6 pages). The stories are printed out and everyone in the meeting reads them before doing anything else. Why? Because Bezos believes the real story hides between the bullet points of a Powerpoint. It’s harder to hide things in a narrative story. Writing helps me turn quick byte memories, into broader stories. Thus, I’m writing.
  2. I miss writing. Transforming a blank screen into something others read (or skim, I’m not offended) is fun.
  3. I believe in studying abroad & traveling in general. I believe the world is a better place when we see cultures unlike our own. I believe it makes us more empathetic. If my blog gets one person 1% closer to taking a leap and exploring a world they can’t imagine, that’d be a success.

To break up all this seriousness, a quick update from the flight. There’s no seat in front me. God bless this legroom.

So, what can you expect from this blog?

  • Grammer errors. Europe is too cool to spend time editing blogs. I used to spend hours on my Warriors pieces. I’m planning to never spend more than an hour on one of these.
  • Inconsistent posts. I’m used to having a routine…studying abroad laughs at the idea of a routine.

Two bullet points in, I’m realizing why I’m not in sales…okay, now for a reason to read this blog…

  • I’ll tell the whole story. I hope to tell you what this journey is truly like. My life abroad won’t be Facebook post perfect. But I’m not going for it to be perfect. I’m going for it to be real, to learn a new culture, to have fun like a 20 year old with no real responsibilities can. The best stories are stories with peaks and valleys. I’ll share those.

So, that’s my welcome. I hope you’ll stick around.

As for how the flight’s going, did I mention there’s no seat in front of me?! Other flight details:

  • The old lady in the row in front of me can’t stop laughing at her movie. She also taps her husband on the shoulder saying “it’s coming”, every time before she sneezes. She’s awesome.
  • I had pasta for dinner. I figured it’d set a low bar for Italy. Also, the other option was chicken, and my faith in airplane chicken isn’t exactly strong.
  • I’m reading Hatching Twitter, a book on the founding of Twitter. Fun fact: Ev Williams, a co-founder of Twitter, also founded Medium — the site you’re reading this on. Sadly, he isn’t a distant relative.

I’ll publish this next time I have WiFi. Thanks for reading.

Jared

8:10PM in California & 5:10AM in Florence