How do you tell your family you want to leave and never come back? How do you fit the rest of your life into two suitcases and two carry on pieces of luggage? How do you purchase a one way ticket to a place you’ve never been before?

I don’t know how to answer these questions. I have to reserve my ticket by Monday. One way, or round trip. My parents have no idea I’m even considering transfering to a school in Europe. How can I possibly get them to understand in five days? They don’t even want me going on the study abroad trip, with a set return date.

I have to go home tonight and pick up my information packet from the school in Florence. I don’t know what to tell them, or how to say it. I’m afraid of what my dad will do, and I don’t want to hurt my mom. Alice thinks it’s all so easy–just tell them. Well that’s fine for her. Her parents want to go back to Europe. They’re planning on visiting us.

My parents don’t travel. My dad is more anti-social than I am. He’s perfectly happy never leaving our little town. He still works in the same zip code where he was born, raised, and lived until I was a year old, and doesn’t see any reason for that to change.

I’ve known for a long time that I can never be happy in Madison County. I’ve known for a while that I need to get out of Ohio. After spending the summer in Quebec, it confirmed that I will probably never be happy in the US.

But how can I put those thoughts into words when I know how much it will hurt my family?