Well, here I am the night before I leave and I am having a hard time comprehending what’s exactly all about to happen. I get that I will be spending a month and half in the city of all things fashion, love and lights. I get that I will be spending a month and a half taking a class about French film and learning about the origins of la cinématique. I also get that I will be learning constantly and consistently about a whole new culture and about myself, as well. What I’m having a hard time with now is actually having the fact that I’m going to Paris (tomorrow!) hit me. Everyone has been asking me if I’m excited and yes, I definitely, definitely am but I still don’t 100% realize that I’m going. I guess it’s this weird factor of anticipating change and knowing it’s coming but not knowing when.
My major challenge, as you can imagine, is packing. I have had a lot of veteran study abroad-ers give me the tip of packing less than I actually think I will need. Pretty much everyone has told me that they come back and don’t use half of what they pack. I try to believe it but it’s hard to imagine not using something you brought while you were abroad in another country! Now, I will admit that I have a packing problem. Even weekend trips are a hassle for me. What if I need this?! Or that?! And I don’t have it?!
Luckily, I have two resources working on my side that allowed me to get my packing done in a timely and efficient manner: to-do lists and my mom. I make to-do lists for everything and my mom second-guesses everything with a better option. Without her, my suitcase wouldn’t be packed so neatly and nicely in plastic bags (see picture). The unfortunate thing that came with packing for this trip was that I basically had to pack twice; once packing my things from my apartment in Madison and then again sifting through all of those items and my items at my parent’s house to pack for the “final product.” But I finally completed the task and I know tomorrow morning as I’m running out the door to drive to the airport, I’ll be running through a mental checklist to make sure I didn’t forget something.
For now, I hope to continue to remember to take advantage of every opportunity while I’m abroad since my program is among the shorter ones. I’m excited to see what this adventure will bring me and I can’t wait to have the moment hit me where I realize this is actually happening. Here’s to adventures, excitement and experiences in Paris. Oh, and baguettes and coffee, of course.