Allons-y!

Wow. I honestly cannot believe that this day is here. I’ve been working so hard, studying so long, and preparing so much for my move to France. From my first French classes at SMC and UCLA to this! I cannot believe that today is the day that I get to move to Europe! This has been such a delightful whirlwind to get caught up in and I am very thankful.

Here are some maps to give you some idea of where I’m traveling to and how far I am from Paris! Not bad, huh!

Today, I’ll fly to London, where I’ll have a 2 hr layover and then I’ll fly into Paris. From the CDG airport, I’ll hop a train to Paris Nord train station, have another 2-3 hour layover. From there, I catch my final train to Chauny! In all, it’ll be 24 hours traveling, which isn’t too bad by international traveling standards. I’m just worried about schlepping all my luggage onto the train. They aren’t very big and I’m afraid that my bags will be a bit heavy! Good thing I’ve been working out at the gym, yes?

I have no idea when you will hear from me next. Honestly, it depends on where I can find internet access. It may be a few days, it may be a week or so. Consider this your official warning and apology for the impending radio silence! But I promise (when I do find internet access) to be faithful to update and post pictures. However, don’t expect pictures of mes élèves because that’s against school policy and I think it’s weird to put pictures of other people’s children on the internet. Ya dig?

I want this blog to be a place where you can ask questions, dialog with me about my life, find out cool things about French culture, and live vicariously through my travels. So please don’t be shy and leave me lots of comments! As you can probably expect, I’ll be sharing the good… and the bad about my ex-pat experience. And honestly, I think it’s going to take a month or so before I get in the “groove” of speaking French and understanding the culture difference entirely. I am fully expecting somewhat of a bumpy landing. In that vein, I’ll be posting prayer requests so please be faithful to pray for me during this transition and beyond.

As I mentioned before, I’m taking my GRE Lit exam in November (in Paris!) and applying to grad school programs by December 1st. The time until the apps are due will be, unfortunately, preoccupied with studying and finishing up various essays/writing samples. I’m not planning to really travel until I’m finished with those because I really want to focus and do my job well. But after I’m done… I have a whole laundry list of places that I’d like to visit. After all, it’s not everyday that I have a French visa and cheap train tickets! I’m hoping to spend some holiday time in Spain, Italy, the UK, Germany, etc. I might even try and get a cheap flight to Greece!

But I wanted to take some time to thank my incredibly supportive family and friends, especially my parents. I’m so blessed to have people in my life that encourage me to follow my dreams and to work really hard. I can’t believe that God has given me this great opportunity and I am looking forward to using this time to bring Him more glory. I see my life as an instrument and it’s exciting to see it being put to work in such a great place! And to the readers of this blog, thank you so much for your wonderful comments and prayers! It’s so great to have a support group like you all. I am truly one blessed lady!

I’ll see you all on the other side! To France I go!

Prayers:
– Language acquisition: This is probably the most crucial one for me. I’m not bad at speaking, I just need to get used to understanding rapidly spoken directions!
– Involvement with the local church: that I’ll find good Christian friends, older couples, and peers! I definitely want the church to be a major part of my time in Chauny.
–  Ease setting up bank account, phone, internet: Obviously, these are pretty essential.
– Focus with teaching and grad school apps: that I’d do my best work to honor and please the Lord.  

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