Tuesday – September 20, 2016. 5:15p.m. Dallas, Texas
The last song that I heard as I left the airport was a country song. I’ll miss Texas. It seems normal right now to hear country music, to see advertisements written in English, and to speak with others in your native language, but I know to relish it for one last time. I am leaving a familiar world where I am confident and sure. I am heading to another country of which I have never been.
Au revoir, mon amie Texas. I shall see you again because you will always be my home no matter how far away I go. Bonjour, Paris! I await your adventures.
Thursday – September 22, 2016. 2:45p.m. Paris, France
My second day in Paris. I already have begun falling in love with this city. I came here looking to enjoy and learn about a new country, but just within a couple days I know how special this experience is: living in Paris for five weeks.
It is my first full day here. I awoke at 7:30a.m. to the small clink of dishes and to the faint aroma of fresh bread. I laid in bed thinking how I should be worn out because of the time difference. I closed my eyes thinking I should sleep as much as possible, but it didn’t work. My mind was ready for the day to begin.
My hosts are wonderful. My cousin’s husband (Jean-Thibault) has cousins in Paris. I am staying with them in their apartment in the heart of the city. It’s beautiful with colorful walls, long elegant curtains, and paintings everywhere that Natalene has painted.
It is easy to romanticize this place, but I am looking forward to staying long enough to know what it’s like to live here. I appreciate that I do not have to soak everything in in just a few days. Instead of taking pictures and being the normal tourist, I am walking around and taking the bus learning French. I am soaking it all in but in a meaningful deep breathing sort of way.
I ride the bus watching the people and buildings pass by. I sit down in the fresh air writing this while hearing conversations in French. I walk the streets learning where the boulangeries are. I do not need to rush. I take my time, and learn about this new city like getting to know a new friend.
Even without seeing the “sights,” I am already wishing to be here longer. I am in a dream, and I don’t want to wake up.
Of Southern Pines Photography