In about 9 hours, I depart for France. I am unbelievably excited about being in la belle France again. And I am even more excited to be able to share with my mother my first visit to Poitiers. It will be a different experience of France than on our last visit together over 4 years ago.
I have a bunch of fun things planned for the few days we spend in Paris: brunch along the Canal Saint-Martin, la nuit des musees at the Louvre, and a watercoloring session at the Jardin du Luxembourg.
But the real fun awaits us in Poitiers. I have 3 rdv scheduled with local folks: a Frenchman (who may not speak English…), an American woman, and a Taiwanese woman (who is taking a career break to study French, like me). And I’ll be visiting the university campus and language program. I had intended to get a lot done during this trip (opening a bank account, getting a cell phone, securing housing leads, etc), but now it seems that it will be a trip focused on simply getting to know the city. And that is fine with me. I can’t wait to get a sense of Poitiers, its rhythm, its layout, the beautiful parks, and even all the grimy, hideous parts.
When I return, I’ll have about three weeks to finalize my paperwork before my visa appointment with the French Consulate. I am crazy-worried about getting my visa application ready as I still haven’t figured out my housing situation. Even though I’m a bit old, I am interested in finding a homestay/au pair situation since it would give me an intimate window into French family/home life. At the same time, living alone or with roommates would be better for my social life and for hosting friends and family. I’ll have to figure this all out soon…
So all is well. My 30th year is truly off to a good start. I spent the last hours of my 20s and the first hours of my 30s surrounded by amazing friends, and I’m still on track for France. And for that I am thankful.