It is 6:56 PM the day of my flight to Paris, and boarding begins at 7 PM. I am writing this to recount to craziness of the past ~2 days.
Some time between midnight-1 AM, August 22: I started mentally packing two nights ago, creating a Word document list of everything I might need, consulting the IES Abroad Nantes packing list (does anyone else do this?)
Around noon, August 22: I start actually packing, arranging summer, fall, and winter clothes I might need (and then cutting down about half of the things I was planning on packing because of space).
Me, around 7 PM the day before my flight, regretting not packing earlier
Me, around 8:30 PM the day before my flight, incredulous that I am now 90% packed
*Brittany does not recommend this packing strategy. #chronicprocrastinator
Around 2 PM: I meet up with a friend from high school and get my last boba in Irvine for the next four months. I am assured by a friend who sees my Snapchat story that there is boba in France.
Around 4:30 PM: After double-checking that I have everything, I say goodbye to my grandma and little brother (who started his senior year today!). Grandma complains that she looks weird. I will miss them very much. Mom and I hit the road for LAX.
My dorky folks.
Around 6 PM: Mom and I arrive at LAX (after me freaking out for basically the entire car ride about how nervous I am) and she sits with me for about 30 minutes before I head to security. I tell Mom that I am nervous about the flight, by myself, airsick ol’ me, travelling internationally, alone. Mom spends 90% of the 30 minutes telling me to relax. It’s true, I am nervous about getting airsick on my first international flight travelling alone, but what I’m really sad about is leaving my family for four months. I go to college about 40 minutes away from home, so I don’t usually feel too sad about saying goodbye, but this will be the first time I will be across the globe away from my family for a significant period of time. Mom says to relax and enjoy my experience, I’ll be fine.
Thanks for all the support, Mom! I’ll send you some goofy pictures when I land.
Around 6:35 PM: I walk through the maze of the line to get to security, waving to mom as I go through. It calms me down a little, because going through the mostly empty line winds around so I can see over the balcony and wave to Mom approximately three times.
…And now we’re here! It is now 7:18 PM and we are still waiting to board. I am nervous and excited as I sit here, at the gate, typing this post. To ground myself and make myself a little less nervous, I am listening to the chatter around me, which is a lot of French and English. I am excited for a great semester abroad, and here are some of my goals while I’m abroad:
- Go to a cat café!
- Enjoy a pique-nique and eat fromage at a park.
- PRACTICE AS MUCH FRENCH AS POSSIBLE!!! Read as many signs as possible, listen as much as possible (without being creepy), etc.
- Have fun and stay safe!
Okay, we are now boarding! Thanks for following along, et à bientôt!
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<p>Brittany Chen is a Cognitive Science major and French minor at Pomona College. She enjoys singing in choir, eating dessert, playing board games and card games with friends, learning about linguistics, and making/appreciating puns. She hopes to work in education or become the voice of public transit or commercials in the future.</p>