It's time for the land of Rene Descartes, Victor Hugo, Coco Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Napoleon, King Louis, Claude Monet, Yves Saint Laurent, Baudelaire, and... me!
I figure that putting myself in that kind of company can't end up to badly, right? Well, it's time to go. My plane departs tomorrow, and I can barely sleep from all of the excitement. I take off at 4pm Toronto time, and I arrive in Paris at 6am local time. My parents suggest that I have a couple glasses of wine on the plane to induce a nap before I arrive. I'm not arguing with that.
I finally packed up my bags tonight, and weighed them with my mother's super-accurate scale to make sure they're under the weight limit (she works for Weight Watcher's, so I know it's the real deal). I'm bringing one large suitcase, one large travel backpack (like the kind people hike mountains with... except I'll be hiking up the Eiffel Tower), a small carry-on, and a très cute messenger bag that my sister got for me. It's Lesportsac, vraiment français. Hopefully all of this luggage will meet me punctually and in tact at Charles de Gualle.
I know I'm ready to go, because I've run out of pages to read in the Paris section of my "Rick Steves' France" book. So far, he seems to be very helpful and informative. I feel that Rick and I now have a connection of sorts... but really he's just told me where to go, where to eat, and what to see. It's nothing too serious, yet.
Additionally, up to this point I've spent countless hours trying to become an expert on French culture without actually being in France yet. I'm a people person and a communicator, so I want to make sure that I've prepared myself well for the barriers ahead that may set back my efforts to engage with others. These barriers may discourage my propensity to connect with the people around me, but with the help of many authors, bloggers, and study abroad-ers, I hope I can overcome those barriers and really reach into the heart of my new city.
I'm diving in, head first, into one of the most famous cities in the world. After all, how many people do you know would fail to recognize the Eiffel Tower? Not many, I'd guess. I'm taking this opportunity as an honor. It's nothing short of a dream to be jet-setting to Paris tomorrow. Tomorrow! Wow... and I've been thinking about this time in my life since I was about 13 or so, if not younger. I always knew I'd study abroad in France.
To my friends and family, au revoir! To Paris, bonjour! I will be updating this blog often, and I always check email. I can't wait to hear from you and tell you about my times.