May

June 1, 2008

I had two couchsurfers stay (actually three, but one left after a day) for about a week… This derived from what we originally planned as two or three days. One was T, a radically cool hippie woman from California (mom, you met her on the phone!), and she’d just burned or sold all that she’d had after her boyfriend broke up with her, taking the house that she’d designed and built. She’s now in Europe for no one knows how long. Craig was the other, an artist from Texas (and yes, you know he’s from Texas), and he’d just recently decided to be living his month six months at home as an artist, and six months traveling. Craig helped me begin smoke cigarettes and T helped me be more dirty and hippy like. Craig ended up forcing himself to leave because, as he put it, he never would have on account of all our partying…

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April

May 1, 2008

I’ve been trying, and been successful at, doing some type of couchsurfing every weekend, and during my trip it was a lot more than just the weekend. I met some great people, and I actually based each place I traveled to off of where a friend or two I wanted to visit lived; thus, most of the pictures I took were of people, rather than sights. I kind of realized a few weeks before leaving that I really don’t enjoy tourism. I didn’t enjoy myself in Barcelona, staying on the tourist avenue, hanging out with other tourists, spending money on other tourist things; and I realize why I like to travel now. Not for seeing museums I don’t want to see, but for hanging out and meeting new people from who knows where in the world…

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March

April 1, 2008

The last few months and weeks have been very occupied, with a variety of things, I’m happy to say.
This blog is going to show how college students abroad spend their holidays, meet people, and I guess travel. I’ll start off with the week leading up to and the weekend of Easter…

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February

March 1, 2008

Ok, here we go again. I’ve been busy with applications and paperwork and readjusting to life since I’ve gotten back. We’ll go through the whole trip with pictures, throwing in my commentaries and stories along the way…

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January

February 1, 2008

To Whom It May Concern at Coface Services:
As the language of this letter will have hinted, I do not know French very well
[well, enough to write this letter, but that would make it easy on you]. I hope you will forgive me for writing in my native tongue, but I would not be able to convey my message otherwise.

When I first placed my order at the website Bodybuilding.com on September 27, 2007, I did so after reading the following page of the afforementioned website: http://bodybuilding.com/store/help/duties.htm . Please read through this page before continuing reading. As you can see, it says today what it said back in September…

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December

January 1, 2008

December was a pretty null month until the end of it; just the usual school, football, hanging out, drinking wine. Had to actually study a bit for my final which, frankly, ended up turning out to be complete bullshit. I came here to learn and study French, not the seven different types of “eaters” here in France (spanning from everyone who hates to cook to loves to cook who loves dessert to who eats fast… Blah!), so when I only studied grammar and vocabulary to prepare for the test, I was in for a little shock. It turned out okay, though, since I am a pretty good writer in French even though she never knew it. I got a C+/B- on the exam, which is my average grade (they care too much about little things like accents or a missing e, which are the equivalents to things in English that most people don’t even realize, and most Americans don’t care about)…

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November

December 1, 2007

November 6, 2007: I went to Barcelona last Thursday, until Sunday night. It was an interesting trip, as it should have been. There’s not a whole lot to write, to be honest, so I’ll explain the main highlights.

Basically, on the bus ride there, I was beginning to ask myself why I chose to go to Barcelona when I should go somewhere I could practice my French, seeing how this Barcelona trip was expensive enough and there are plenty of places in France I’ve never been to. I decided to just suck it up and deal with it, but the first night we were there changed things around. I wasn’t wanting to go out every night with everyone and spend hundreds of euros on booze at pubs, so I was hanging out in the common area of our hostel waiting for someone when the guy (French) in charge of our group from the travel agency asked me if I wanted to go have a beer from the six pack he had in his hand up on the roof (it was a really cool roof- good view of the area, tables and chairs for hanging out, etc). Seeing a perfect opportunity to practice my French, I joined Boumé in sharing a beer (or two), and we ended up going out to some Irish pub with my hostel roommate 60 year old man from Morocco and the lady who drove the bus. Don’t ask me how this happened, I didn’t understand a whole lot of their talking. Anyway, it was cool because they paid for the two rounds of beer so I escaped unnecessary budgeting conflicts (tourism is expensive).

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October

November 1, 2007

October 1, 2007: I had an interesting little excursion this last weekend. I had planned on making it completely spontaneous so I’d have a fun adventure to write about, but unfortunately, it wasn’t a whole lot of fun. I kept a little journal throughout, and during this blog post I’ll insert excerpts indicated with some “quotation marks.”

It started out at the train station. I bought a ticket to Marseille, because that’s where the main trains run through. My ticket said 12:40… 1:30, still no train. Huh? I go ask the guy inside who speaks English: Oh, that’s a bus, not a train. You can take the next one at 2.

Oh, okay. I buy a ticket at a train station and somehow get a ticket for a bus; whatever…

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September

October 1, 2007

September 1 & 2, 2007: Our first paid group field trip was today. Location: Marseille. I wasn’t listening on the bus ride there because the lady’s French accent was giving me a headache and I couldn’t take it. Basically, she told us Marseille is really old with a rich history and background. We took many a picture and the sights were absolutely beautiful. We drove all the way up to Notre Dame de la Garde to what I guess was a legendary church. It was beautiful and huge, all right; but as far as the inside went, you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. I stuck to taking pictures of the city since we were so high up. That’s when my camera battery began dying and I had to preserve with care the rest of the pictures I wanted to take….

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August

September 1, 2007

August 15, 2007: As I sit here waiting almost three hours for my flight to take off, I realize the majority of my body still has no idea what’s about to happen to my life. I won’t be seeing my family or Brittany anytime soon; I begin to realize that all the cheering up I got from so often recently won’t be as constant and my life will need to be occupied in different ways.

It’s difficult to contemplate and fully understand what’s happening. I’m actually going to live in another country for nine months and only see the ones I love in person on one occasion (if that). Intellectually, I realize this isn’t a big deal.. I’m not going to war, I’m blessed to have this opportunity; but I’m still scared. Whether something is scary about the fact that things may not be how I left them when I return, or what might happen to me while I’m gone, or the same things that have made me want to burst into tears so often the last few days; I don’t know, and I’m not sure I ever will once I’m settled in and having the time of my life…

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