Amy Rader, Paris, France

My one month in Paris mark has come and gone.  I’m living my dream, and it’s starting to feel like an actual reality.  Since my last blog, so many things have happened.  Stressful, incredible, inspiring, creepy, beautiful things are happening to me everyday during this journey.

Our fourth roommate has moved in, and we are all adjusting to another human being taking up space in our pretty small apartment.  We all get along great, but sometimes it feels like there is no where to be alone in this big city.   And other times, nothing feels lonelier.   Since I’ve been here over a month now (which was the full length of my Madrid travels) I am starting to feel the homesickness.  During the day when I am busy with school and exploring, I’m alright, but at night, when I look through my Facebook newsfeeds, I miss my family, friends, sorority sisters, and of course, my boyfriend even more.  It is a hard feeling to comprehend.  I am in one of the biggest and most beautiful cities in the world.  And I’m sad about it.   But I remind myself, with help from my friends, that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Everyone will still be there when I return.

Last weekend, I visited the city of Collioure in the south of France.   So far south, it’s close to Barcelona.  It was the most beautiful place I had ever seen in my entire life.  I did not want to return to Paris after that.  I swam in the Mediterranean for the second time in my life and hiked along the coast on the Pyrenees Mountains.  We visited a fortified city that was protected in the history of time, that land had belonged to Spain and France.  Everyone in the cities seemed calm and relaxed and stress-free.  I would love to return one day.

Collioure at night.

The coast of the Mediterranean

I have also been attending different events to improve my French.  It is hard, but I know it is getting better.  Some days,  All I want to do is speak French, and other days, I want nothing to do with it.  Its a daily battle, but I’ll get there.  I read and watch Breaking Bad on Netflix in French.  It feels like a little taste of home with a French twist because so many of my friends love that show and it reminds me of them when I watch here. I also have 18 hours of class a week all in French and that can be exhausting.

I have also been doing some more touristy things.  I visited Saint-Chapelle Church, the Concergierie (an old prison), the Catacombs, the aquarium, and a few other places.  I was nervous that I would come to Paris and miss something so I made a list of 50 things I want to do before I leave.  This helps me focus on my daily life and now the homesickness.

Saint-Chapelle(top left) Marie Antoinette’s room in the Concergierie (bottom left)

L’Arc de Triompe, Les Champs-Elysee, Le Tour Eiffel

Laduree, and the Catacombs

This past weekend, I went to Normandy.  I visited Mont Saint-Michel, which on some lists, is considered one of the seven wonders of the world, Omaha beach, and other D-Day sites.  It was incredible and tragic to see an American cemetery in another country.  However, this proves that there really is no race, no difference in nationality.  People should be there for others, no matter what.

Mont Saint-Michel

Omaha Beach, Normandy, France

I have one more week of school and then a week of holiday break!  I will be visiting a friend in Lisbon for the entire week and I can not wait!

More to come!

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  • albrightelcdc  On October 21, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    What a thoughtful post! I can relate to the roller coaster of emotions while being so far from home. It definitely changes you. I wish you a wonderful fall break and I hope you continue to improve your French and experience amazing things.

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