My journey abroad in Paris, France is taking me every day somewhere new. I thought that these categories from the book and movie “Eat, Pray, Love” broke up my weekend perfectly in order to explain what has been happening in my adventure so far in little Paris.
The food in Paris has been amazing. Well….most of it I’ve had a bit of trouble though adapting to the food here. For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am a pescatarian. This means that the only source of meat I eat is fish. I consulted with my friends, family, and doctor on if I should change my diet. France is a first world country, and honestly I thought (and am still under the assumption) that it shouldn’t be a big deal. Boy was I wrong. Literally everything here is chicken or pork. I was under the assumption that fish was a large part of the French diet, sure it is to an extent but not compared to other meats. I admit my logic and reasoning for believing that I could survive in France easily as a pescatarian was flawed. Last time I was in France (four years ago) I ate any and every kind of meat possible. For some odd reason though, this thought did not cross my mind until after I crossed the pond over to France. There is a lot of meat on the menus here, and when you ask the waiter if there’s any food without meat they can sometimes treat you as if you were an alien. So I decided to try free ranged chicken. I should get bonus points or something for trying. Long story short, it went well at first. And now I’m back to never eating meat other than fish again. EVER For those of you who are like myself who have given up meat know that there are options available. It just will be a bit more difficult that back in the states. I found some great dishes here (at Carfour or Monoprix in the refrigerated section) such as tabbouleh and carrots. Yes there is a carrot dish here, and it is amazing. Having dietary restrictions means that it will take a bit more effort, but I’m willing to take a couple extra minutes at the store and get a few odd glances at waiters now and then if it means I get to not eat meat. After all, it’s what makes me feel best.
Religion is a difficult topic in France. Or at least I get the impression that it’s a very hush-hush almost “taboo” topic. And with it, I’ve become hush-hush about the topic too. Religion in France is very private compared to the US. And I respect that. But at the same time I find myself at odds in France when it comes to even mentioning the topic of religion. Somehow, when (in the rare case) that I do talk about religion, I am delicately tip-toeing around the conversation. Religion is a delicate matter, I get that. But it has almost become so delicate in my mind that it should be hidden or tucked away like a family heirloom in a china cupboard. I’ve been in the search of finding and exploring churches here in France. So far the search has been….well going. I’ve gone into a few cathedrals and have been constantly amazed by the architecture and the grand art pieces. I find it to be refreshing to see art work on/about religious subjects and scenes. The amount of time that one artist dedicates their life towards creating religious art work baffles me, and I find it to be a testament of faith. I find myself in a weird limbo though going to services in France. Will they be in Latin? I don’t know Latin. What if someone tries to speak to me in French? I have no idea how to express my religious beliefs or sentiments on religion in French. The idea of it honestly paralyzes me. But I’ve been trying. So no harm no foul, right?
At home in the US, Valentine ’s Day is pretty much a normal day for me. The only thing that’s different is that I consume a chocolate or two more than usual. Being in the city of love on Valentine’s Day was different than I expected. I found myself becoming homesick and missing the people at home. Fortunately skype helped ease the pain and I found myself skyping for a couple of hours. This weekend was a great reminder that there are different aspects of love. For example, when I went on my day-trip to Tours and the Loire valley I was reminded of how much I love traveling and seeing new places. Or when I was skyping with my friends, I remembered how much I loved and enjoyed their presence. And even though I might be miles away from my friends and family, I love the fact that I am in Paris. I love seeing the Eiffel tower every morning when I wake up and sparkle when I go to bed. I love the food here (even if it is difficult at times to find vegetarian options). I love the memories and adventures that I am creating here. From going to the Mamouth and dancing the night away, to discovering Belleville and drinking bubble tea while looking at street art I’m trying to find an adventure every day. Regardless- big or little- I find myself more in love with Paris and this opportunity that I have every day. And I hope that I can profit as much as possible while I’m here.
So that is my grand adventure so far. Yet again, I’m excited to see where this week takes me. I’m can’t wait to explore and created more memories here in Paris. Are you ready for some adventure?
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<div> My name is Sabrina Kennelly. Currently, I am majoring in French and Communication Studies with a certificate in International Journalism. My interests include journalism, learning foreign languages, communication studies, social media, photography, and of course traveling! </div>