My life has been characterized, essentially, by the omnipresence of a powerful wanderlust. Like most little girls, I would watch those Disney movies of princesses, knights, castles, and valiant steeds in mythical, far-off lands, wishing to experience the grandeur depicted in those animations. As I grew older, those desires did not ebb. As I learned more about the world around me, the budding wanderlust within me blossomed like a lily in a rainshower.
It has now been a little over a month since those dreams were realized; one month and 6 days ago, faced with the terrifying prospect of my very first flight, I boarded that first plane with trepidation and anticipation. One month and 5 days ago, I stepped foot, for the first time, in a completely foreign land, a new country completely alone with only my wits and a wrinkled itinerary to guide me. And now, only a month later, how is it possible that I have already settled into this strange, new place, feeling almost at home and accustomed to the glorious sights that are tucked into every new bend in the road?
France is everything I dreamed it would be and more. I was blessed with a large studio apartment, companions from my home university, and the wonderful guidance of a former exchange student and her family.
Every day, I walk outside, laptop bag slung over my shoulder, greeted by the tantalizing scents wafting lazily on the air from the patisserie et boulangerie immediately next door. The bus, punctual as always, carries me off to school, the conducteur always sending a friendly bonjour! my way as I board.
I love living in France, and yet my wanderlust is not so satisfied as to be content in staying perpetually in one place. Luckily, every other exchange student here shares my lust for adventure and travel, all equally intrigued by the tantalizing proximity of other foreign nations here; Belgium, for instance, is a mere 40 minute train ride away: London, an hour and a half: and Germany, three hours. With so many legendary places whispering temptation in my ear, how can I resist to succumb to it!
So far, I have made my way to Brugge, Belgium, Trier and Wittlich, Germany, and Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Each new place offers incredible experiences that I know I will treasure and cherish forever.
With so many countries – each with their own languages, customs, treasures, and food – so close by, the only question that really needs to be ask is, where shall I go next? (Hint: Barcelona 😀 )
Kisses from your favorite world traveler,
P.S. – Below is a link to my GoFundMe page, if you’re interested and willing to help me discover new countries, eat new exotic foods, and of course, so I’ll be able to afford my homebase (apartment) here in Lille, France! Thanks a ton!
(Pics of Belgium and Lille Below!)