A lot of people have been asking for an update on my foot situation so here it is. :) My broken toe is healing slowly but surely but the rest of my foot seems to be getting worse. It is super swollen and bruised. I think I may have damaged something else due to all the walking and trying to avoid putting pressure on the broken part. ISA is making me an appointment for this next week to get it x-rayed so I will find out then exactly what is wrong. This has definitely been the hardest part of this whole experience for me. There are so many things I want to do and places I want to explore in Paris but for right now I have been spending WAY too much time in my apartment or at school. It is so hard to do things and be independent when I can barely walk and the things I have seen and done have been in a lot of pain. I have also been getting some really bad migraines so this weekend has so far been devoted to staying inside resting my foot, getting rid of a migraine, and catching up on some homework. I’m trying to be patient and stay positive but it’s really difficult when I feel like my time here is so short and there are so many things I want to do.
Finally booked my flight to come home! I’ll be back in America on May 17th at 7:15 pm! It’s so crazy to think I have already been here for almost a month!!! I have 91 days and 20 hours left in Europe!! So excited to see all the adventures I can have in the next 3 months, but excited to come home to family and friends and tell them all about it too! :)
Today the world has lost an amazing woman, my great grandma Wilma Bryan. After over 100 years she went home to heaven this morning to be with our Savior for eternity. While I am sad and will miss her so much, I am resting in the peace of God which surpasses all understanding. How amazing that she gets to hear The Lord say “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
Today more than any other day I have realized just how far away I am from home. It’s hard to be away from my family especially during this time but I am also learning that God is the God of all nations and is with me wherever I may be in the world! I am so thankful for all the years I got to spend with her and for what an amazing example she was to me throughout my life!
Doing homework at home is hard. Doing homework in PARIS is ridiculous. However, I did sign up for this whole STUDY abroad thing…. soooo bummer! Not such a fan of the studying part….like at all…yeah….ok back to the Econ homework…
If there’s one thing I’ve learned while abroad, it’s appreciation. Not that this is something I never knew before, but leaving home and starting life in another country can really teach you so much in a short amount of time. Not only have I learned to appreciate all the beauty, monuments, sightseeing, culture, French quirks, and views in this city, I have learned to appreciate things at home as well. I think far too often we fantasize about other cultures and traveling the world to the point that we hold their culture higher in our minds than our own, or find it so intriguing and interesting, that we fail to realize what it is we have at home that’s so amazing (at least this was the case with me). In the last two weeks since I’ve arrived, I have already experienced so much, but I have constantly been reminded of the many blessings I have at home as well.
I miss playing with my puppies. I miss coaching 7 of the most beautiful high school cheerleaders I have ever seen. I miss hearing them laugh, and watching them grow as a team and as individuals. I miss fighting with Parker for my spot on the coach and listening to his crazy stories. I miss Dawson and all his continuous 501 films shenanigans. I miss talking with my roomie and doing almost everything together. I miss my twousin and the way I can relate with her more than anyone I’ve ever met. I miss my family and all of our parties and adventures. I miss nekter and juice it up and banzaii bowl….well actually just healthy food in general. I miss driving and singing in my car. I miss Huntington Beach…NOT Riverside. I miss cooking with my aunt. I miss watching countless episodes of the Dick Van Dyke show and I miss working out.
It’s crazy how much more appreciative you are of things when you don’t have them anymore…or at least won’t have them for a while. I guess the old saying is true, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.” But, I have also come to appreciate so many things about Paris. I love crêpes and fresh bread. I love that some of the most beautiful spots in the world are only a metro ride away. I love that I can travel the world on my weekends. I love the pace of life and the French peoples’ ability to slow down and enjoy moments with each other. I love the glistening of the Eiffel tower. I love the architecture of the buildings in the city center. I love the winding streets with shops and cafes around Notre Dame and Saint Michel and I love that I live in the city of lights if even for a short while.
Traveling can teach you a lot about the world, but I think it may teach you more about yourself. Having new experiences, seeing new places, and doing new things all over the world can really change and shift your perspectives and give you a newfound love for the things all around you. I love home and all my family and friends and miss them a lot, but I also love Paris and know I will be sad to leave. But, for know I’m just excited to spend the next 3 ½ months exploring the city and the world around me and discovering more of the beautiful world and people God created.
I am currently on the high speed train from Paris Montparnasse to Bordeaux to visit Camille and I am so excited!!! I am so blessed to have friends all over the world and be able to visit them and travel to new places! Since I’ll be on here for a few hours I thought I’d catch up on some blogging. By the way this high speed train really is HIGH SPEED, it’s crazy!!!
In my last post I talked about some of my struggles with adjusting to life here and being sick. I think it’s just one of the phases of culture shock that hit me all of a sudden! I am feeling better now and am really happy to be here! I’m sure there will be other times where I have new things to adjust to but I think it’s just all a part of the experience.
Yesterday I woke up and ran some errands around Paris and visited the ISA office across from Notre Dame then got a Nutella crêpe and walked around for a bit then headed to class. Exploring little bits and pieces of Paris each day and discovering new things is one of my favorite things about being here!
So now to the main point of this post haha….it is so incredibly amazing to be able to travel all over the world while I’m here. I have formed a pretty great group of friends and last night we began to plan some trips out of the country together! Next weekend we are planning to go to Brussels, Belgium late on Friday night and return Sunday night. We are taking a bus so that will be an interesting experience haha! We found a lot of things to do while we’re there so I think it will be a lot of fun! We also have tentative plans for a holiday weekend to Dublin, Ireland and then Spring break in Italy, Croatia, and Greece!!!! Then I am going to London for my birthday and meeting Emily there after months of not seeing her and she is coming back to Paris with me after, and eventually I want to make it to Germany to visit Sol! Ahh it’s seriously just the coolest thing ever! I’m so excited for all the adventures that await me and for all the amazing places I will get to see and experience with friends who share a mutual love for travel!
To anyone thinking about studying abroad….JUST GO! It is a once in a lifetime experience and SO worth it!! Even though I’ve had a lot of difficulties since I’ve gotten here I would do it 100 times over and recommend it to anyone!
P.S. Yesterday Maggie and I were really lame and went to an American diner in Paris called “Breakfast in America”, but you would be surprised how the random cravings for American food can hit you all of a sudden haha. Plus it was nice to be relaxed and be able to speak in English with waitresses from America!!
I am beginning to have my first waves of I don’t like France culture shock. I am having fun of course but I have been really sick for the past couple days…I fainted and haven’t been able to keep any food down. Maybe my body is just trying to get used to everything here…idk. But being sick and not eating and having to go to these 3 hour classes while navigating through the city is making me miss California.
I think my apartment is also contributing to my frustrations here. Our apartment itself is small (which is the norm in Paris) but it is also really far away from everything. Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements or districts that start with 1 in the center then move out in a snail shape towards 20. We are in the 20th…so it takes a good amount of time to get anywhere which really shortens the amount of things I’ve been able to do and see so far. It takes at least 45 mins to get to any of the places I want to go then another 45-an hour to get home. Not only that but our neighborhood isn’t the greatest…there is nothing to do here and we don’t really have shops or cafés to go to. We live 2 metro stops from the edge of the city. I’m not sure why my roommate and I got put so far out of the city center because a lot of other people in our study abroad program live in way nicer areas of town and have shorter commutes but we’re all praying the same price. Also, I really want to wash my clothes but the directions for our washing machine are in 6 different languages…none of which are English or French and it’s all filled with water right now! But, oh well! I still get to live in Paris for 4 months which I am thrilled about! :)
Anyway…kind of a downer post but just wanted to share some of the difficulties study abroad can pose. I’ve always heard that when you’re feeling culture shock or homesick you need to get out and do more things which is perfect because this weekend I am traveling to Bordeaux, France to stay with one of my French friends at her house with her family which will be fun because I haven’t seen her in almost 2 years! I’m also hoping that getting a change of scenery and pace will help things and that I will get over this sickness quickly!
First leg of the journey complete! I landed in Seattle! Next stop Iceland!! 3 things to note about the Seattle airport in this day….1) everyone on my flight was wearing Seahawks jerseys 2) terminal C and S are REALLY far away and if you have a broken toe and a big stupid cast it will take you approximately an hour to hobble there with all your stuff and then your foot will bleed and you will be hungry! 3) there is some delicious yet incredibly spicy mac n cheese at this airport so cheers to that! Now I’m boarding my flight to Iceland! Au revoir America! Bisous!
It’s finally starting to sink in that this is actually happening!!!! I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, have a heart attack, or pee my pants! So many emotions at once!!!