So here I am, three days before my flights to Chicago and Paris, without a bag being packed at all. The scary thing is, I've procrastinated packing far worse than this. I mean, I've gathered some of my belongings, carry-on items, clothes, and some other small things, but nothing has actually made it into any suitcases or bags. They'll eventually get packed in time, hopefully with everything I need, but I guess we'll see when I arrive in France! Right now I'm just facing the different decisions about what to pack: this pair of shoes of these ones? Just two pair of jeans? Do I really need rain boots? and the list of questions goes on and on and on. Hopefully I've taken care of all the more important issues, bought the most appropriate items, printed out specific tickets and paperwork, and made sure everything is going according to plan.
As it's nearing my departure, I'm beginning to think about the things I'll miss about my hometown, the US, and my family. I'll obviously miss my family and everything, but I'll also miss the convenience of everything I have here in Las Vegas. Almost everything is open 24/7 and you get spoiled having anything at your fingertips. I'll miss the treats and specialty foods you can only find at certain stores in certain parts of the city. Most of all, I'll miss the familiarity of everything. Even though I've been to Spain and China, I've never been abroad for this long, especially on my own. Whenever I've been abroad, it's always been with big groups, in guided tours, and structured activities. However, all of that is up to me now. France will be completely foreign to me (at least for the first day of so until I get acclimated).
I am so excited, intimidated, wary, sad, happy, anxious, and scared for this upcoming journey and semester. I can't wait to have all of these difference experiences and my bucket list doesn't even exist because I want to do everything. I want to eat, cook, explore, get lost, drink good wine, meet new people, become more fluent in French, and above all, I want to have fun.
I think the thing that I'm most worried and anxious about is food. As a vegetarian with numerous severe allergies, I hope I'll be able to find meals and food that I can eat comfortably without worrying about what's going in my mouth. I've heard that some ethnic markets and shops will have some foods I'm more familiar with, but I am completely open to just eating delicious baguettes and Brie for four months.
These next four months are going to be very interesting and full of wonderful experiences and I could not be happier to have this opportunity.
P.S. It also seems as if I am coming down with a cold or something...which sucks. Hopefully I'll be feeling 100% by the time I depart!
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<p>I'm Iggy Takahashi, a junior studying biochemistry and French studies at the University of Portland and studying abroad in Nantes, France. I love baking, cooking, travelling, exploring, and of course spending time with my family and cats. I have traveled to Spain, China, and throughout the United States, and I hope to continue to do so after graduating!</p>