d) all of the above
...part of planning a trip.
Sticking with the travel theme, the picture above is one I took many years ago, of the ceiling of my first car, a 1985 Saab 900. The ceiling had begun to crumble (as they do in those cars), so I stripped it and replaced it with maps. Anyway.
With someone just today, I was discussing the sort of built-in exhilaration that comes with airfare: it's that positive, tangible thing (or email confirmation) that puts you in get-there mode. With the purchase of an airline ticket, your travel plans go from "possibly taking a trip" to "damnit, I have a five-hour layover in Detroit."
Big news: I just received an email from the British consulate claiming that my visa has been issued and it is en route to me as. we. speak. This is a big day! I was paranoid that it wasn't going to go through for some reason (no worries, there's no real reason it wouldn't have, beyond my incapability to fill out forms correctly or send the wrong kind of passport photo). But alas! It has been approved! Within days I shall receive this beautiful, necessary document, and within the next few days I hope to have purchased an exciting/irritating/painful round-trip airline ticket.
I've decided to come home after the new year for a week or so (after Hogmanay, of course!!), and besides, round-trip tickets look a lot better to immigration officials than one-way trips. As much as they want me there for study, they would prefer I go back home at some point. ;)
Anyone have any great tips for buying airfare, short of contacting a travel agent? Any amazing sites/deals you've stumbled upon? I tend to stick trusty Kayak.com, but I'm all about broadening my airfare search horizons.
Days to Edinburgh move-in: 46