Title Translation: Life Through Rose-Colored Glass (and in the Rain)
Every vacation I've ever been on has lasted a week, more or less. It's seemingly the perfect timeframe to explore cities, dip your toes into another culture, and return home with your little snippet of somewhere new. I've always been a bit of a homebody, to be honest. I love spending time with my family and my pets, so usually a week's vacation is a great timeframe for me to satisfy my wanderlust and curiosity and then return home to what is familiar and safe.
Now here we are at the end of our first full week here and it's just hit me that I'm not heading home any time soon. It's a realization that's filled me with mixed emotions of nostalgia and excitement. I'm so thrilled to be here for nearly six more weeks, but I won't lie - I'm starting to feel the pangs of homesickness. I've been keeping myself so occupied lately that I don't know if it had time to sink in, but it has now. However, I'm content with my homesickness. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, right?
This week we've explored so many corners of Paris; some well known, some I had never heard of until recently. We've been to the National Natural History museum, the Palais Royal, the Opéra, the Louvre, the d'Orsay, and Monet's gardens in Giverny, to name a few. That's quite the itinerary for one week, but I wouldn't change it for anything! I want to see as much as I can for the short time that I'm here. All of the history we're learning makes me fall a little harder for this beautiful city, which I didn't even know was possible.
This constant rain is annoying and gloomy, but it's not stopping us! The Seine may be flooded but Parisians are determined, resilient people and if they need to canoe down the street, they sure will! (I'm not joking - I've seen videos of this.) Speaking of Parisians, I feel more like a Parisian than a tourist. I'm navigating and communicating better and better each day and it fills me with pride and comfort knowing that I can orient myself in a foreign city. So one day, when I return, I hope I can feel a little bit at home.
Also speaking of resilience - the terror levels here are still high. Especially with the UEFA Euro 2016 (European soccer championship) in Paris coming up next week, security measures are being doubled down and fortified. I feel safe here in Paris and I haven't felt insecure in any neighborhood thus far, but the lingering anxiety of large crowds, lots of visitors, and the buzzing in the air still exists. Anxiety, you are a constant battle.
The pace of this program sure does help me sleep at night. Everyday, we're out and about, exploring somewhere new and learning so much about Parisian culture and history. It's long hours of walking and standing and being up and about in general, but I'm not complaining -- it's what I (literally) signed up for. With one more week left, I'm strapping on my most comfortable shoes, packing my umbrella, navigating the Metro, and taking on this city head-first, heart-first.
P.S. - an attempt to embrace the wet Parisian weather means listening to Don't Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas) by Regina Spektor on repeat. I love Paris in the rain, I love Paris in the rain, I love, I love, in the rain ...
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<p>I'm Kelly, 21-year old senior anthropology and museum studies student at Indiana University. When I'm not working or studying, you can find me drinking too much coffee, watching unhealthy amounts of tv, or writing one of the 4 stories I've started - usually all at the same time. Lover of pugs, the color green, and good wines. My blogs are for you if you're interested in traveling with anxiety, culture discussions, bad puns, tourist-y photos, sarcasm, and many, many useless facts.</p>