I hate to be the person who talks about how quickly time passes all of the time, but I honestly can’t help it. I don’t think that a month has gone by so quickly before in my life. Thankfully, adjusting has not been difficult and Lyon already feels like home. As I’m writing this (way behind schedule, as per usual), I’m actually sitting in my airbnb in Vienna, but all while being here, I’ve been thinking about how nice it’s going to be to be back in Lyon. That’s not to say that I’m not having fun in Vienna (I totally am, but that’s for the next post), but I’m excited to be back in a place where I speak the language and where I can spend time with my friends. Vacationing is fun, but living somewhere (especially living abroad) is a different kind of fun that I find almost more fulfilling. It’s one thing to go see the sights and do the Trip Advisor Top 10, but it’s another to make friends, learn the culture, and do things as a family (whether that means my host family or my campus ministry, both of whom I’m very blessed to have here). I guess that’s all to say, I write on here a lot about the tourist-y stuff that I do (and I’m about to do that some more), but the real experience of living abroad happens between those moments.
But back to the ‘travel’ portion of the travel blog.
A couple of weeks ago, we took a program field trip to the French Alps to go skiing, snowshoeing, or exploring. One of my roommates convinced me to just go for it and take the opportunity to ski. I mean, it’s not exactly something you get to do every day. I was a tad nervous, seeing as I’d only downhill skied twice before and the last time was in 5th or 6th grade (also, I’m fairly certain that I only went down the bunny hill), but I decided to not think about that and just do it.
Well, thank goodness I did because it was amazing. Probably one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a place so beautiful in my entire life. Everywhere you looked was incomprehensibly gorgeous. The sky was clear and blue and the temperature was such that I only needed a light jacket. These pictures can’t even begin to do it justice, but they can at least give you an idea.
(Also, please pardon if the formatting is bad on this post, I’m using the mobile app since I didn’t bring my laptop to Vienna)
So yeah, skiing was amazing. And– hallelujah– I didn’t break my leg!
(I actually only fell twice and I’m really proud of myself.)
On a less tourist-y note, I started classes a couple of weeks ago! My schedule is very different than in the US, which has its positives and negatives. Negatives first (I like to end on a positive note), my classes are 2 hours long and twice a week I have 8 hours of classes in a day. There are also only 2 open bathrooms on the whole campus, I’m pretty sure (fun European bathroom fact: people in Europe don’t knock before they enter a bathroom?? For some reason??). However, any negatives are vastly outweighed by two facts: 1) I’m in France. Nothing else is even needed. I’m literally studying the French language in France. 2) I don’t have any (real) classes on Mondays or Fridays (I have photography and tutoring French elementary schoolers on Fridays, but I don’t think that counts), which is basically the dream of every college student ever.
Now, I said that adjusting hasn’t been difficult (which I stand by), but there certainly have been some WTF moments (Welcome To France, that is). Most of them have actually been entertaining, more than anything else. For instance, last week was Chandeleur (a French holiday about 40 days after Christmas where everyone eats crepes because… it’s France? Idk, I didn’t actually ever figure out the back story), so I ate crepes 7 times in 1 week. 7 times. Vive la France.
(But actually, I was almost tired of them by the end, please don’t tell anyone that I said this.) Also, in true French fashion, there was a protest on campus last week. And a strike the week before that. But hey, I’m all for the power of the people, so no judgement.
At any rate, it’s been fun to get comfortable and make this place home, quirks and all.
Thanks for reading!