The study abroad sister

My sister took off for a semester in Rome yesterday. Surprisingly, saying goodbye in the airport was easy. We hugged (a lot) and took pictures (a lot), but then Katie walked through security and left. And it was done. After months (m-o-n-t-h-s) of planning and stress and setbacks it was all...over. For me, at least. For Katie it's just begun. Anyone who knows the feeling of moving somewhere unknown, whether it's across the world or in another town knows what it's like. My move to London two years ago was dramatic, cold, dark, and scary. It was full of tears and regret, but I think Katie is much more fearless than I am. I think she'll be amazing.

Katie and I are close, but I know she only sometimes reads my blog. In her words, "I don't know why anyone would take time out of their own day to read about someone else's life," but I wanted to write to her anyways. Here goes:

Katie. I'm glued to your flight tracker, and right now you're halfway across the Atlantic. You probably can't get any sleep on the plane and didn't listen when I said to get snacks before you board the plane. But that's okay - you don't listen to my advice much. I forgive you.

I can't wait to hear about everything in Rome. Your roommates - crazy or not. Your trips, your classes, the buildings, the sounds and smells, and the people. Rome is so lucky to have you, and you're so lucky to be there. When you're sad or scared or overwhelmed and want to be back in South Carolina, really think about where you are and where you were. And remember how awesome your life is. Remember how much your family loves you, and remember how insanely jealous I am.

Don't miss out on memories because they are $30 more expensive than you thought it would be. I'm serious. I'm serious.

Literally text me every single day. I've been fighting the urge to be a crazy psycho mom and mentally go through the ways things could go wrong, so your texts will put me out of my misery.

Can you believe that you have so much time in such a beautiful place? I can't wait to hear all about it.

I love you so much.