The last time I went to China for four months, I didn’t really know any better. It was get on a plane and go, good luck, and figure it out.

Now, I’m 22 days away from leaving for another many-month jaunt. This time, I have a lot of time think about going. Studying abroad is a process in which you fill out endless paperwork months in advance. I’ve spent two years learning Chinese this time. I’ll be going with at least ten to fifteen other Middlebury students.

In short, this time there is so much certainty about going to such an uncertain country. I don’t know if certainty is a good thing. I sometimes think that I work best by diving into the unknown.