so i officially resigned from work last friday. that means no more unnecessary spending and splurging. so far, i've been pretty successful at it. case in point, instead of taking a cab to go to clarke quay, i took the bus hehe i've been cutting down on ciggys and starving myself during lunch time too. just kidding haha
two months to go and i still have so much stuff to do! i am close to panic mode. i can't get excited about the trip yet because i have so many things to think of.
first, i have to call the italian embassy to check on the requirements. their site has a list of documents but some things aren't clear. i don't know if i should provide two sets of each document, or whether the bank statements should be the past three months or just the current month, or whether i need the actual diploma or a printed copy would do. i know they seem 'trivial' things that i can, on safety's side, just bring everything along with me when i apply. but, i do have to find out how long it takes to process a student visa so i might as well ask these when i make the call.
second, i have to prepare the actual documents. i have to book my ticket, find a good (and cheap) travel insurance, fish out those bank statements, get the letters of invitations for my travels outside of the course period and finalize my itinerary.
third, finalize my itinerary. i sort of have a rough idea already of what my route will be. i've done my budgeting all day today and it looks like i should be able to manage (and afford) to go to all the places in the list. i've checked out the average cost of hostels, did a short list of which ones i can consider, then as soon as i book the ticket, i should make the confirmed reservations for, oh 10 different cities.
fourth, never mind the hostels, i still haven't found a place in bologna yet. i've contacted the owners of the rooms for rent for my one month stay, they haven't replied yet so quite worried about that. i contacted just a bunch, maybe 5 at the most. i've pre-filtered them to having bus stops near the bus that i need to go to school. i have to commend google maps for being so handy and helpful with this. anyway, if i don't hear from the owners by tuesday/wednesday, i will send them an sms or call them directly. this i need settled hopefully this week for my sanity's sake.
fifth, aside from finalizing my trip itinerary and the hostels, i need to draft my city itineraries. yes, i'm ocd that way. not that i get to follow my itinerary down to the last letter but i want a semblance of planning involved: i need to know which sights or districts i should get lost in, which cafe to stumble upon, which stores to browse and window shop or which gallery or bookstore i will hunt down. nevermind that i make the list impossibly thorough one can't really tick it all off, but i want the option to be there-that i don't miss out on it because i didn't know about it. i'd rather i know my options and decide i won't do those because of lack of time, or i prioritized to see this over that, whatever. i want the choice to be mine. hence, i need my options.
sixth, i have to be conversational in italian by september! as in seriously. not the reading and understanding but be able to talk and converse kind. i read in wikitravel that the people in bologna aren't too well versed in english. so...good luck to me. i've downloaded a torrent file of 'the ultimate italian learning pack,' with pdf and audio guides on learning the language. i've started with grammer last friday, though i think i'm running at a snail's pace on that. but i've been building up my vocabulary since last week so hopefully that makes up for the other half. in fairness to me, when i checked the itm italia website for information on prepaid sim services, i was able to understand a bit, a very tiny bit. but i'm hopeful i will be able to speak italian, at the very least, order un doppio caffe in the morning :D
seventh, since i am moving back to manila after this, i have to ship out everything before i leave for my trip. as in everything, well, except the clothes that i'm bring with me of course. and no, this isn't something that i can do when i get back. the lease on the condo unit that we're renting out is ending by mid october. i am going to be back in singapore waaaay after that. so yes, i have to pack everything already. then pack my luggage for the trip.
eighth (and last that i can think of right now), i still have a list of things to buy for the trip. i need a proper backpack, like the backpacker's half-the-house-can-fit kind of backpack. in my case, a small bahay kubo sized one. i was supposed to just use my hard case luggage for this trip, but given the rough time i had on my last trip, i am not doing that again. lessons learned the hard way. i also have to buy some thermal clothes since the weather will start to drop by october. i hate the cold. or rather, i get cold easily so this is a life and death matter :D i also have to buy that battery pack that attaches to the iphone so it can extend the battery life. i need the map and gps functions, very very important as i learned from my last trip.
on a bright note, my old boss messaged me that i have a job in january. so yaaaay i'm not really unemployed, i'm just taking the opportunity to take a gap quarter (a year's too much of a luxury), which is good. its exactly what i need. i need a restart button.
when i updated my good friend about my plans, he was shocked and even commented that he's at a loss at where this is coming from. he said he never thought i was the impulsive, drop everything kind of person. in the course of our conversation, as i was explaining to him why i had to do this, i realized that one of the underlying reasons is that i've been too burned out, working waay too hard for 9+ years, without any breaks. one demanding client after a more demanding client, higher expectations and bigger accountability after another. i've never really had a breather in between.
i decided to work in singapore for several reasons. first of all, i wanted to experience working in a different country. second, i wanted to work on a regional account. it just seemed like the natural progression after working in manila. of course, there's still the group head, associate director, and director left, but you can go back to this after you've worked regional. its actually harder to find a job here the higher you go up the ladder. the third reason is the eurotrip. i made it a goal before to go to europe on or before 30 years old. the big shebang on turning 30. i wanted to do something grand so there you go.
the fourth and last reason is actually to take this gelato class. my initial plan was one more year in singapore. i was scheduling this gelato course to happen in 2013 when i supposedly have more savings. but, seriously, knowing myself, i would never have saved enough by next year anyway. i'm not getting any younger so why wait when i can do this now? i have to do things now while i still can, and more importantly, i'm financially able to.
so really, after i've done this, there really isn't any more reason for me to stay here. i've ticked off all the reasons for going here. i'm ready to go home. my work is done here :)