Je Suis Arrivée!

And I’m finally here in Aix!

I landed around noon local time (about 5 am Oklahoma-time) and was greeted by a sweet old French couple. Unfortunately, they don’t speak English, so it’s difficult to communicate à ce moment. I can usually understand their questions, however there are sometimes that I have no idea what anyone is saying! Most of my answers are in Oui or Non. I’m feeling very overwhelmed at the moment because there is so much I want to say, but am unable to. Now that my phone is charged and working again, it will be easier for me to look up the words or phrases I don’t know to help with conversations. (I also really need to go back and review my verb conjugations and various tenses!).

In addition to being overwhelmed and jet lagged, I’m feeling really homesick (je m'ennuie de ma famille et mon copain). After a nice lunch with my host family, I spent a few hours crying in my room… embarrassing, but true. The feeling is nothing like a vacation where you have a short amount of time in the country. Instead it’s terrifying because I know that I’ll be here for awhile and can’t just retreat to the comforts of home. Austin’s mom brought up a good point when she said that achieving your goals can be depressing at first. You’ve built up all this excitement and energy and worked so long for something, only for it to arrive and it’s not quite what you expected. I also think my host family might smoke. Blegh!

I’m taking comfort in knowing that this is only a phase and that soon I will be over my culture shock and homesickness. And maybe I’m lucky that it’s happening so early for me, rather than an extended stage of enchantment before. 

I have a pretty exciting week coming up as well because it’s a fun orientation week! I’m really looking forward to meeting other students and making some friends. 

Regan Shorter

42000 Saint-Etienne

Regan is a freelance photographer and travel blogger.