I’m taking a much needed break from studying for finals to write this post. Speaking of studying for finals…how the heck did I get here? How are we already at finals? How have I been in France for 3 months already??? So many questions, so little time to figure them out.
But seriously I think it’s important to reflect on how I got here. The journey was rocky in the beginning, y’all know that. I shared like 5 posts about it lol. But then out of nowhere, the dust settled and I became so, so happy. I really started living every day like it was meant to be lived. I went out, I made friends, I went on trips with my wonderful study abroad buddy (hellooooo, Allen). Things just became good. And I feel like I haven’t really verbalized (write-alized..?) exactly how grateful I am. I mean if I can make 5 posts about things being pretty awful, I can do the same to describe just how happy and thankful I am that things have been looking up for quite a while. I don’t know if it started when I made my first French friend, when she took me out to the streets of Nice for the first time, when I went on a trip to my dream city, or when I finally understood how to tell the cashier, “No thank you, I don’t want a receipt.” It was probably the receipt thing. That thing stressed me owttt!! I was tired of stuffing those little papers in the pockets of my jeans.
To make matters even better I got to visit Barcelona just this weekend. And to be completely transparent with you (cause that’s what we do here, ya), it was a little underwhelming at first. I think it’s cause when we touched down, we went to see all the main sites like Gaudi’s houses and Sagrada, and there were sooo many people there and everything was sooo expensive to get in to. I was just like, “Ew, this city is a tourist trap!!!” As if I’m not a tourist myself (eye roll).
Well anyways, that kinda set me off on the wrong foot. But as we discovered the beauty that is Barcelona public transport (btw I think this is like my thing…like really, seeing a city’s public transport is my favorite part of every trip) and got to our hotel that was way up North and quite far from the annoying tourists (heh), things got much, much better. Our trip consisted of roaming Park Guëll for hours and hours, getting a phenomenal view of the city from the Spanish Civil War bunkers, a night out on the town in Barcelona’s famous beach clubs, and a tiring but beautiful time at Montjuic.
To be real with you, gratitude has always been a really hard concept for me. To express gratitude, you have to be grateful…and I never really felt like I had anything to be grateful for growing up. That has really changed this semester. I am so grateful for every opportunity that has come my way. I’m grateful to be in this city. I’m grateful to meet these people. I am outstandingly grateful that I get to see a new country almost every weekend. I’m grateful to my sister and mom for believing in me when I said I was gonna go to France. I’m grateful for Allen who navigates every single one of our trips...like seriously I’ve never met someone who understands Apple Maps the way he does.
I’m grateful to be filled with gratitude.
Okay yeah sorry for another messy, terribly worded post. I hope at least some of it made sense. Are y’all grateful for anything? It’s okay if you’re not. I get it. Lots of love.
P.S. Here's me at Park Guëll!!
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Hi everyone! Studying abroad in Nice specifically has been a dream of mine since I was a junior in high school.
It's very important to me to write from the perspective of a first gen and low income student. I want to provide y'all with some sense of comfort and togetherness during what might be a super exciting but potentially scary or overwhelming process. I just want my experiences and advice to mean something to students like me.
I hope y'all enjoy the things I share!