Oh mon Dieu, the time has come!

22 Jun

Wow, I can’t believe it’s finally time for me to go to France!  It seemed like I had forever to prepare for the trip, but now I’m leaving in just a few days.  I’m too excited for words, but now that it’s about time to go, I admit I’m starting to get a bit nervous, as well.  I’ve never traveled outside of the United States before, nor have I ever taken a long trip on my own.  What concerns me the most is if I will be able to communicate well enough.  Sure, I feel like I do very well in my French classes, but I know the classroom setting is entirely different from immersing yourself in the culture, especially since I’m sure there will be lots of slang or casual speak being used in regular conversation that I never learned in class.  Overall, though, I probably shouldn’t be too concerned about this.  I have other friends who have been to France and they got along just fine.  I hear that even if I make some mistakes, the people I talk to would appreciate that I at least am trying to communicate to them in their own language, rather than assuming everyone speaks English.

Either way, no matter what happens, I’m going to be in France, and it’s going to be amazing.  I’ve been wanting to go there for so long that I have a whole list of things I’d love to see.  It’s highly unlikely that I could see everything in just this one visit, but if I have things my way, this definitely won’t be my last trip to France, so I guess it’s okay if I don’t get to do everything in this one trip.  One place I absolutely have to visit is the Chateau D’If.  That is the place from Alexandre Dumas’ novel The Count of Monte Cristo where Edmond Dantès was held captive.  Yeah, I know it’s only fiction, but I love that book so much.  I just have to see it.  I’ll be staying in Arles, so Marseilles won’t be too far away.  Aside from that definite “must do,” I haven’t really planned anything else specific for my stay in France.  I expect to meet new people, travel with them, and just see where my study abroad experience takes me!

I just hope I don’t spend too much money.  No, not on things like fashion or souvenirs, like you would expect most people to buy while they’re in France.  I will want to eat everything.  Not kidding.  A teacher I had in high school told me that when he went to France, he never looked at a menu.  He always told the waiter, “Surprise me,” and he never had a bad meal.  I’m not sure I’m brave enough to do something like that, but I’m really looking forward to trying French cooking.  In my study abroad program, I’ll be staying with a French family, which is another exciting aspect of my trip, so I’ll even get the chance to try homemade French cooking, along with getting a firsthand glimpse at provincial home life.  I’m very eager to meet the family I’ll be staying with.  Almost always, I’m pretty easygoing and laid back, and it’s easy for me to get along with pretty much anybody, so I’m sure I’ll get along perfectly well with my French family.

So, within this coming week, or perhaps a few days even, you can expect another post from me soon!  Only this time, I’ll actually be in France, finally!  Though I can’t say for sure exactly what will happen while I’m away, I can guarantee one thing – I am going to have an AWESOME time, and you are all going to hear about it!

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