I’m going to Paris?! by Christy Illius

Yes, I’m going to Paris. It still hasn’t sunk in, and I leave in exactly a week. For a month. How in the world am I supposed to pack for a month? My little dog (Isabella) keeps following me around the house as I try to get my laundry together, as if she knows something is about to happen. I have to leave her sweet little face for a month, I have to leave my cellphone “off” for a month, I won’t be able to see my parents for a month. These are all things I keep thinking about, but for some reason, it hasn’t truly sunk it.

It’s surreal for me. I have SO much to get ready! I still have yet to arrange my transportation from the airport to the university where we will all be staying. That in itself could be a huge disaster. Then there’s everything I have to remember to bring with me. Of course if I forget things, I will be going to a big city, so it’s not like I can’t go to a corner store, but there are some items that might be harder to find internationally.

Then there’s the whole language difference. Yes, most of the world speaks English, so there will be someone who could help me almost everywhere I go, but I don’t want to be that “typical American” ( make sure you pronounce that with a sheik accent), and then I don’t want to be the “stupid American”. I have been warned several times –even from a few local Frenchies– that pick pocketing is a big problem, and tourists are target #1, and my “American accent” might as well be a big “come rob me ” sign.  But I don’t want to think of the negatives. Only the positives. Positives such as delicious French food, amazing landmarks and history that I have seen on tv and in books and magazines,  the wonderful memories and experiences that I am about to have.

I suppose I’m mostly excited, but a little nervous. I am going to miss home .

Ciao for now!

Christy

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