After some convincing that they could do more than just hang out in Paris for two weeks, my parents made their first-ever trip to Europe. After years of consuming all sorts of media involving swords, bagpipes and burly men, we decided that a mini-trip to Scotland would be essential.
In the last week, it dawned on us that we have LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS left in Paris. With return tickets purchased and a lease freshly signed for an apartment in Minneapolis, the end of this adventure is feeling alarmingly close. We’ve started to go into panic mode about the things (food) we haven’t tried yet — or the things we just haven’t tried ENOUGH of.
Nobody likes to feel stupid. It really sucks. But when you move to a foreign country, it happens a lot — at least in the beginning. In the beginning, it feels like you can’t go five minutes without feeling stupid. Whether I tried to swipe my credit card instead of inserting it into the chip reader, or mispronounced a word and received a prompt (and public) correction, or had to explain in really bad French that my French is really bad so I didn’t understand what you just said to me, I felt perpetually embarrassed.
After swapping some of these stories with a friend (also an American – shout out to you, Carrie!) shortly after our move here, she told me that feeling stupid was something you just have to learn how to do and become comfortable with. This turned out to be very valuable advice.
While originally planning another short trip to check out another nearby city — this time Amiens — I realized how close the city is to part of the Western Front of WWI. For this we’d need a car or an (expensive) tour. After finding a good rental car deal, we quickly put together a four-day trip to check out some of the most important WWI and WWII sites here in France.
This blog over the last few months has turned into a bit of a travelogue. Which makes sense, I guess, but we are doing some fun stuff here in Paris as well. So, with the new year, and after talking to some friends and family recently, we feel like we should update everyone a little more on our everyday doings.
One of the things that lessened the stress while we were preparing for the big move was knowing that Erin’s family would be spending the holidays with us. Still, being away from so many family and friends was not a great feeling. So, to ensure we maintained appropriate levels of holiday cheer, we all decided to spend a few days in a festive destination before spending Christmas in Paris. Krakow, Poland, was the big winner.
It will be impossible to separate this trip from what happened last weekend, but for the purposes of this blog post, that’s what we’re going to do. We’re happy that we and our friends are safe and confused and utterly devastated about the rest. Neither of us feel like writing about it. If you want to talk more, send us an email.