Tag Archives: packing

Here I go….

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purple duct tape for the win!

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global custom tours represent!

My bags are packed and I’m ready to go. Tomorrow I have a 7am flight from Bradley to Chicago, then an 11:25 to cedar rapids. Above is a picture of my duffle, packed and weighing in at 26 lbs. My clothes etc for ten months are in there. Other than that I’ll be bringing this backpack…

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And this purse….

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Now that I’ve got that covered, I have to apologize for this post. I feel like I sound all robotic, but I’m testing out my phones WordPress app and I haven’t quite adjusted to writing long posts on a phone. I also I haven’t figured out why some of the photos are sideways… still working out the kinks.. 🙂

Anyway, I am super excited to get started and meet everybody tomorrow! A little nervous too, but nothing out of the norm. 🙂

I’ll leave you all with an awesome fema corps blog post and a promise to update soon.

Last day in good ol’ U. S. of A.

So far I’ve mostly only posted what’s happening and not any of the emotional stuff, but now it’s my last full day in the U.S. and it’s really starting to hit me. I’m still incredibly excited to go to Paris, but leaving my friends and family to go to a place with a ton of unknowns is kinda freaky to think about. I know that in a couple weeks I’ll  be all set and probably having the time of my life, but I’m not good with new stuff and meeting new people is always tricky business.

I guess I’m mostly just really sad to leave my friends and family. Skyping and snail mail just aren’t the same as staying up late watching chick flicks and complaining about life.

Anyway, on another note, packing is really hard. I have two suitcases, but I can’t just fill them to the brim because they have to be under 50 lbs. So, I’m currently playing real life tetris trying to balance out all my shoes and jeans, and not forget about the little things like razors and shampoo. I tried using Space Bags to make everything smaller. But they really only work on big puffy things like coats. Other stuff they just make into weird shapes so they can’t be packed flat anymore.

I can’t help but to constantly think of questions like, where will I eat dinner my first night? Will I be with somebody? How will I find the other Goucher people? What if I get lost on the way to the Sorbonne? What if I don’t test well into my Sorbonne class? What if I don’t understand people and they think I’m just a rude stuck up girl? What if I actually can’t hear people and I’m stuck wearing my hearing aid? What if I get stuck in Iceland?

My brain needs to shut up and I need to be in Paris NOW.

Happy thought, no matter how crazy this semester in Paris turns out to be, it’s better than being at Goucher when half my class in across the world.  (Sorry if that sounded like a dig to anyone who stayed, it’s just own personal preference and knowing that I would go insane if I didn’t study abroad in some way.)

I really need to sleep, but sleep means I must wake up, and waking up means I have to go through my last day in the US.

I really need to go to bed. Goodnight anybody. If my rantings didn’t make sense, just translate them into “Oh my god, it’s almost France time!”

New York City Squared

Today I went into the city for the second time in order to have my Visa put into my passport. Sounds simple, right? Not!

I was told to go between 9am and 10am with my passport and the receipt they gave me. When I arrived in front of the building at 8:40, 20 people were already standing outside. At first it appeared that they were all there to apply for a Visa, wrong again, the majority were waiting just like me, to get a sticker put in their passport. At 9am they finally open the door (remember this building only opens on the half hour because of “security reasons”), there was a bit of chaos as we all try and get in and the workers try and split the 1st timers from the others. Finally I get upstairs, hand my Passport and receipt in at one of the booths (a bit confusing since they kind of just shoved us all up the stairs), and stand in the little space behind the red line with the rest of the crowd. I ended up waiting for two hours, during which they called my name once (to find out exactly when I was leaving) and added more people to the already chaotic space every half hour. I was going a bit nuts as the people around my gossiped about how it was their third time due to missing forms. Finally, my name was called and I was handed my Visa. Simple as that. It seems it doesn’t get too crazy unless you don’t have all your forms the first time. Then you are given a list of the missing forms to bring the next time, and then they determine if you’re ready to get your visa or not. So, for this I thank Goucher. While I was annoyed copying and finding all the items on Goucher’s list of paperwork for the Visa, it came in very handy when I needed to be prepared for all the things not listed on the Visa website. Such as a copy of your driver’s license. It seems almost everybody needed a copy of their driver’s license, and unless a friend tipped them off, nobody had a clue and were forced to use the 50 cents per page copier in the office.

So, thank you Goucher OIS for being insanely prepared and helpful in my journey à Paris.

Random note: Eat before you go to the consulate. They can leave you stuck in there for hours on end, and if you leave you lose your appointment. I was quite hungry by the end of it today. Same applies to bathroom, there’s one in the building but who knows when they’ll call your name.

After getting my Visa (God, it feels so good to say that!), my mom and I went to the Guggenheim Museum for our annual art fix. I could rant about how confusing and silly the Guggenheim is, but that’s not the point of this blog now is it? My Frenchy museum experience was with the free audio tour they give you. I asked a worker how to switch the language into French, and decided to see how much I could understand. Turns out, my French hasn’t slipped all the much since school. I haven’t magically become fluent or anything, but I could basically understand the tour. This made me feel sooo much better about next week. I still need to figure out the Parisian accent, but it feels great to know I’m starting out in a good place. (And a little note to Madame, I was able to spot a Manet, Monet, Gauguin, and Van Gogh, although I did miss another Van Gogh. UCONN French taught me well. )

That’s all I have to say about NYC. Back on the home front I’m trying to catch up with old e-mails. I don’t know what it is this summer but I just hate responding to e-mails. Must have inherited it from living with Becca for so long. But, if you don’t respond to IFE it turns out they send you another e-mail with URGENT as the subject. I better hop to that.
I’ve been starting to pack. Turns out I can fit all my clothes in a huge suitcase using Space Bags. Also turns out this makes the bag exceed the 50 lb. weight limit. So, I’m working on it. I guess I didn’t really need my fuzzy PJs in France. 🙂