Louisville ~ Nantes

France was never at the top of my bucket list but when I was told that UPS would pay for me to go, I was all about it. I wouldn’t be near Paris, instead I would be studying in a smaller town in Brittany called Nantes. I decided I wanted to stay with a host family so I could get a real, authentic feel of what life in France was like. The closer my departure got, the more excited I got. I have wanted to travel for a long, long time and knowing that we would have 3-day weekends off, I started planning my trips immediately. There were so many places I wanted to visit while I was in Europe and had the chance- Rome, Barcelona, London, Venice, Munich, and most of all Prague. I decided not to plan anything in advance though so I could make plans with other people wanting to travel. I got the time off I needed from UPS, booked my ticket, emailed my host family and was ready to go. My adventure began when I left Louisville and it has been nothing but ups and downs since I’ve been here. First was the flight; Wow, 12 hours on a plane will really get you beat. I landed in my small city of Nantes and took a taxi to my host family’s house. That was my first taxi ride and I was terrified. It was raining and the driver was driving like a maniac and almost ran over a biker and then took the time to yell at the biker when we passed him. We finally got to the house and I was so relieved. Then I walked up to door, rang the bell and nothing happened. I rang a few more times and then started to panic. They knew I was coming right? so where were they? I walked around up and down the street emailing and texting the hosts and my advisors from both schools. I was terrified I would be stuck in this strange city with no place to stay and nowhere to go. Finally, the host mum text me back saying she would be home in two hours, apparently they were expecting me two days later and were just as confused as I was. I don’t know where the miscommunication occurred but I felt like such an imposition and was put on the futon until my room was ready but I was happy just to have a roof over my head.
The next few days were great. I got to explore the city and relax and even take a trip to the beach! Then school started. It was great to meet all these new people and it helped that the class I was in was so fun and had a great teacher. My first free weekend I decided to go to Paris. I booked a train ticket and a hostel and went on my way. When I finally arrived I was so excited to see everything that I decided to walk to my hostel… and hour and a half later I arrived at this small, hole-in-the-wall, home in the middle of china town to a room I shared with 5 other girls. Paris was crazy for me. It’s massive and there’s new things to see and do every time you turn around. I got lucky with beautiful weather and enough time to see all the main spots even though my trips got cut short because of a weird situation with my ride home. Then it was back to Nantes and school and planning for the next adventure!
More to come…