Another Tearful Goodbye
Trip Start Aug 31, 2008
9Trip End May 21, 2009
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I know I said last time that I was traveling to "get it out of my system", once and for all. I think I knew even then, deep down, that well...not so much. Foreign cultures and mysterious adventures in faraway lands beckon me with such a force I can hardly describe. I reckon they always will.
Most exciting for me, however, is that this particular journey will quench not only my thirst for travel but also for a long held dream to learn French, live in France and experience that exotic and sophisticated culture I have always wondered about
I would like to be able to say that I have been brushing up on French, listening to tapes and looking through books but the truth is...not at all. These last few weeks have been spent preparing in the more practical ways, packing, tying up loose ends for my business, and most importantly spending time with and soaking up my friends and family. I don't regret one minute of it...even if I am cursing my ignorance in a few days because I can't understand a damn thing when I'm standing on a Parisian street corner lost as a person can be, staring at an incomprehensible map through the puddles of tears welling up in my eyes.
I arrive in Paris on September 1st and will be spend 5 nights in a hostel. As much as I have dreamed of seeing this city, it pains me to have to do it for the first time alone, such a romantic place with no one to stroll down the boulevards and marvel at the sites with! It's a rather pathetic thought, me sitting in the park, chewing on some baguette and gazing at the Eiffel Tower...ALONE. Of course, I plan to return to the capital throughout my stay in France and hopefully share her beauty with friends and family who venture my way
From Paris I board a train to Montpellier, a small city in southwestern France, not far from Spain actually. It is in Montpellier that I will live with a French family and study the language at the Alliance Francaise, a well known French language school found all over the world. It is hard to say how long I will live with a family or receive lessons. I do plan to stay in France for nine months and am hopeful that it will be long enough to reach a level I am happy with, fluent. Of course, as always, my plans and journey will only go as far as my money does and in case there's any doubt...I did not pick a bargain destination here folks. This will be a far cry from the hostels of La Paz or the bungalows of the Thai islands. Our cherished dollar and its ever plummeting value is no match for Europe and her EUROS. Not that I haven't planned and saved as best I could for a long time. If things go my way I will complete my nine month stay and also visit some nearby countries, Turkey, Greece, Tunisia, Switzerland and the island of Corsica (French) are some on the list.
The last few weeks in Kansas City have been especially bittersweet with more Bon Voyage parties and get-togethers than I deserve and more love, affection and generosity from the people in my life than a girl can hope for. I am so lucky not only to have the opportunities for travel and adventure that I do, but more importantly for the reminders at times like these of how loved I am, how wonderful the people in my life here are and much I will miss them all.
SO... DEEP BREATH, SIGHTS SET EAST, READY OR NOT...I'M OFF.