Lately I've been thinking a lot about my first big trip to France in 2008. I had visited a couple of times before that, but that was my first time coming to a foreign country completely on my own for 2 months. I ended up meeting some of the greatest people from all over the world and having, actually, the time of my life.
The latest Coldplay album had just come out that month that I left and I distinctly remember being on the train from Paris to Montpellier and listening to Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love and just feeling the most at peace I've ever felt. I was so anxious and jetlagged and on the verge of tears most of the time since I stepped off the plane in Paris... but at that moment, listening to that song and looking out the window to the French countryside whizzing by, I knew that everything would be okay.
Lovers in Japan
There were two distinct parts to that summer, two sessions. During the first session I met and instantly bonded with two Polish girls, both named Joanna. A lot of the other Americans there just spent time with each other, speaking English, but I really wanted to take advantage of being in France and speaking French. Turns out that all the people I loved hanging out with that first month were only there for the first session, and they all left at the end of July, leaving me there with (bah!) the other Americans.
|Sofie and me!|
I returned to Montpellier in August, obviously excited to spend another summer month in France learning French, but also missing everyone who left. Little did I know what I was in for... I met people who were just as amazing who had either already been there the previous month or who had just arrived. I let my guard down a little and spent time with some fellow Americans... it felt so good to speak some English again amongst all the intensive French we were learning all day, every day.
|Miss these girls.|
One thing I know, I'm happier in France than I am most other places... and at this point I don't want to leave anytime soon. My visa expires at the end of June, and I'm definitely applying for this program again next year, so to all the people reading at home - see you in 2012 I suppose?
Or maybe I'll never come back! OoOoh. No, I'm pretty sure a few of you would actually kill me if I decided to do that. Mais je suis amoureuse... de la France, de...
If you want to see the rest of my pictures from that summer, they're on my flickr here.
Update of my travels coming soon...ish.