19 August 2010

Things I Will Miss Most

It's hard to believe that after years of dreaming about packing up and going to Paris, I'll be doing so in only nine days.  Since my first visit to Paris on a family vacation, when my bespectacled and painfully awkward self gaped at the Eiffel Tower and chowed down on pains au chocolat galore, I've fantasized about spending an extended period of time in the City of Light.

Thanks to  Boston University, I'm about to do so.  From August 29 to December 18 I'll be living on the rive droite in the home of a French couple, with their cat Pilou (!!) and another American student.  I've got to be honest, I couldn't have gotten luckier.  When my sister Sinead and I spent time in Paris last summer, we stayed literally one street away from the apartment, so I know precisely where it is... Though, with my winning sense of direction it's entirely possible and probable that I'll get lost on more than one occasion.

As the departure date draws ever nearer, and my excitement grows exponentially, I have to say I find myself stuck in moments of anxiety sometimes.  How will I survive without Mum's yummy (and vegetarian!) meals every day?  What if Pilou is mean and doesn't like to snuggle like my cat Lily does?  How am I supposed to keep track of my budget, my meals, my schoolwork?  I've had trouble sleeping lately, because my mind is always racing... Just when I think I've calmed myself down, something else will pop up!  (Will I find time to listen to Podcasts of all my favorite NPR shows?!)

Aside from these petty concerns, there are larger things about which I worry as well.  Though my French is adequate, my traveling skills have been honed over several years, and I'm not afraid of eating snails... I find myself returning to the ever-approaching moment, the instant that I step off the plane and realize "I am in France, and I am by myself."  I almost get chills thinking about it now, and my stomach fills with papillons at the thought.

Almost drowning in lists of To-Dos, Things To Pack, Things To Remember... I've found it much more enjoyable to make a different type of list:  Things I Will Miss Most (in no particular order).

My wonderful family, soon to be scattered across three continents,
pictured here visiting my sister in South Africa

My happy pink yoga mat, which has kept me so balanced over the past year.

My fat but loveable cat, Lily, and her friendly nuzzling and tiny meows.

I have a trip to Villanova in store for this weekend, and though I look forward to spending time with friends, I'm sure that my good-bye to them and to the Villanova campus on Monday won't be easy.  It's strange to think I won't be back there 'til January!  I'm excited, though.  I'm twenty years old and I've been handed the chance to once more, begin anew.  Things won't always be easy, but I intend to remind myself continuously that this opportunity is, as they say, once-in-a-lifetime.  For now, however, the heaps of clothes and miscellaneous items invading my bedroom are begging to be dealt with.  

P.S.  I'm asking for your patience with this blog... Declaring an English major doesn't automatically endow one with flawless writing skills, and travel writing is a new frontier for me.  I won't always know how or what to write, but I hope you'll bear with me as I seek the right words.


  1. Great start Niamh! Looking forward to all the foody and winey notes you'll discover. Counting down to Christmas already...........Muah x x

  2. scloughley@gmail.comAugust 28, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    "a ridiculously stubborn Dad"

    Why I oughta.....