Thursday, June 2, 2016

Preparing For France

             The opportunity to go to France has to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I often tell people, "You always hear about it happening to other people,  but you never think it is going to happen to you. It's happening to me." I have never been more excited for something as I am for this trip of a lifetime, but I know it will take a lot of work and preparation. That's what the summer is for.

              I've already completed my application and have been accepted into the program, so some of the work is done. (I will try to elaborate on that a little later.) However, as today is my first day of summer vacation, I look at the "to do list" I created yesterday just for my going abroad. Some of the responsibilities are more enjoyable than others, such as learning French vs. getting a Visa. Other responsibilities include gathering photos to take with me, converting my money or planning how I'm going to do that, and communicating with my host family (once I figure out who they are). Everything takes time, but I will savor every moment.

            I also have to prepare myself mentally. All of the companions I met at school, the youth group that has blessed me over the years, and my family will be left on the ground as I take off for Paris.When I get there, I may not understand a word of what people are saying, despite having completed three years of French in school and Rosetta Stone. I will have trouble speaking myself. Living with a family that has different personalities, rules, and priorities than me will not be easy either despite all the fantastic moments I am looking forward to with them.

            No matter how intimidated I may feel by my work load or how sad I will be to leave my loved ones, I come to the same conclusion: I have to do this. No, no one is making me, other than myself. It's quite the opposite for my parents. However, something deep inside of me tells me that I need to travel, explore, and experience new things.Something has told me over the years that I don't belong in the same place I was born, and the opportunity I have now just proves that for me. I know this is just the beginning.

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