I feel like I’m eighteen again. I’m sitting on a ship that will take me to the place that will be my home for the coming year. I have butterflies in my stomach and tears in my eyes. This is how I felt when I hugged my mother a last time before boarding the train when I went to uni many years ago. Excited, scared, alone. My mother is long gone, but this morning my daughter gave me a final hug before I walked the gangway onto the ship that brings me to my new adventure. As I hugged her I sniffed her neck like I did when she was a toddler. We had to get up really early this morning, therefore she hadn’t showered yet. She smelled more like herself than ever. I really liked that.

The ship left the harbour a few hours ago. I settled into my cabin, unpacked some essentials and now have some time to myself before lunch will be served. The coming days I will have plenty of time to prepare my research, for now I just wanted to start writing in my journal. Get rid of that daunting first blank page of a notebook. Now that the first lines are written, I can move on to the more interesting bits.

But not right now. The bell for lunch just rang. Got to go.