First week in Paris

I made it to Paris!

The first days of this sort of move are always rough, between the delirium of jet lag and the overwhelming realization that you actually did just change everything about your life without really knowing what comes next. Luckily, France has an excellent antidote to that sort of spiraling in the form of baked goods: on my first afternoon here, I walked to a bakery and immediately felt better about the world with a pain au chocolat and a baguette in my hands. Any place that considers still-warm bread for the dinner table a necessity has some values I can get behind.

It’s been a quiet week of spending time with friends from the US (who live here now!), meeting some of the other students from my program, and dealing with the headaches of any move–train pass, bank account, phone setup. Every (mostly) successful conversation in French boosts my confidence for the next one, but I have to say that I’ve been a little disappointed not to need my meticulously organized folders of documents. I suppose I shouldn’t wish unnecessary bureaucracy on myself, but I do have 2 copies of my immunization records if anyone asks.

Tomorrow is move-in day! I’m looking forward to unpacking after more than a month of living out of suitcases and to being a more-legit resident of Paris!

Cross-Country Road Trip: By the Numbers

Turns out the US is pretty big and driving from one coast to the other is maybe more of an undertaking than I really understood from looking at a map. We could have had more adventures were it not for the many, many hours we inconveniently had to spend driving, but it was pretty great all the same. Here are the highlights:

Days traveled: 12

International borders crossed: 2 (that was fun with my whole life packed into the backseat)

States driven through: 11

Miles driven: 3500

Miles hiked: 35

Miles run: 34

Waterfalls admired: 8

National Parks/Forests/Etc enjoyed: 5

Bears observed: 1

Bison encountered: approximately a million (causing the requisite bison traffic jams)

Pictures of bison taken: definitely not enough

Motorcycles seen: literally thousands (accidentally encountered the edges of Sturgis)

Pictures taken: 458 (don’t worry, this is only a few of them)

  

It was an amazing trip! Thank you to my co-pilots and hosts along the way!