Tuesday, August 14, 2012

preparing for paris

"How excited are you for Paris?!" Actually, lovely person I'm going to miss excessively very soon, not that much. This may make me seem unappreciative of the opportunities before me--bratty, even--but I expected it. My process works this way: wanderlust, excitement, freak-out, excitement. I'm currently between those exciting parts. And since the major details are all set (flight, temporary lodging, student visa), it's the technicalities that get me. I wonder how helpful the housing office will be in my apartment search, how likely it is I'll find worthwhile friends, how quickly my French language skills will return. Living and studying abroad, especially in a city like Paris, can easily be romanticized but I am all too aware of the challenging realities. With that said, I'm also looking forward to each one. I know deep down I can do it and couldn't possibly forget why I want to. So, in these final two weeks, I've been studying Prêt a Voyager's Bloggers Guide to Paris, the videos below, and Lost In Cheeseland's Franco File Fridays. From the latter, the responses to "describe what you love about France in three words" are as follows:
paris from Olivia Rae James on Vimeo
Culture, history, beauty. Food, passion and style. Passion, style and wine. The nutty French. Appreciation of beauty. Everything is beautiful. Lifestyle, food, photogenic-ness (I know, I made that last word up, but I had to condense it into one word). History, beauty, passion. Gardens, markets and meals. Cuisine, style, beauty. Food, new, old. Pain au chocolat. Food. Wine. Scenery. Culture. That's four. I cheated. Joie de vivre. Delicious, dreamy, exhilarating. Le pain chaud. Food, people, travel. Contrarianism is mainstream. Great health care. Freedom, Food, Travel. food, culture, language. Healthcare, food, history.

Friendly Fires - Paris (Aeroplane Remix ft. Au Revoir Simone)by0ctolover via chic or geek
Classic, timeless, beauty. Tradition, Elegance, Taste. Timeless, passion, gourmandises. Complex. Romantic. Home. Its diverse regions. Slower paced life. Food, wine, architecture. Liberté. Egalité. Fraternité. Joie de vivre. Bread, cheese, wine. The artist spirit. I live here. Pain au chocolat. Family, gourmandise, Paris (because pain, vin, fromage is a little too easy!) Universal Health Care. Style. Passion. Pleasure. Tradition Juxtaposed with'Tendance' (trend). Conversation without end. History. Beauty. Food. Salty, creamy, butter. Bread, wine and cheese. Enriches my perspective. Love of craftsmanship.
Flair for living. Beauty, tradition, terroir. Beauty, tradition, discipline. Craft. Stories. Wine. Paris, landscapes and baguettes ! Provence at dawn. Art de vivre. Eye Candy and Lights. La Vie Française. Beauty. Decadence. Arrogance. Beauty, Manger, le Ciel. Earthy, Taste, "Joie-de-vivre." Champagne, chèvre, chocolate. Beauty. Paris. Provence. History, food, art. The two most important words - about living anywhere - for me are home and adventure. Weather, weather, weather. Just kidding. Wine. Cheese. Exploration. Can we make it 5 words? Eyes, ears, nose, tastebuds + brain. Delicious Daily Surprises. Liberté. Égalité. FOOD.


  1. I know what you mean about everyone thinking you should be totally excited to embark on something so big, but you're not. I've done this tons of times and it's just the adjustment period you have to get through and then you're set! I'm sure the french language will come back to you; we just got a French technician on our site who I've been practicing my 6 year non existent French practice with, and as scary Asia was at first, it's getting better! You'll have a great time, and i can't wait to visit you!

  2. I can relate. I just moved from South Florida to Indiana, and I'm having my own little version of culture shock. I've traveled a lot before but since I'm here for 2 years, it does seem a lot more permanent. But good luck to you, I'm looking forward to your Paris posts.

  3. @melissa @tryingtoheal: Thanks for your understanding and encouragement, Melis! I can't wait either :)

    @Grace: Exactly. Thank you for the luck! And good luck to you, too. Hopefully I'll have lots of great things to share while I'm in Paris.

  4. i so so so relate! i feel the same way whenever departing or arriving anywhere. i think that's because we are nomadic souls of sorts :) everywhere is home.


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