note: although I’m just now posting this, I wrote it over a period of a few days. enjoy!
Location: CDG Airport, Paris, France
Time: Approximately 11am CEST (central european summer time), May 31st
Getting to CDG via the TGV from Rennes was a success. I received a 4am wakeup call from Maire and by 5:15 I had checked out of my room. I ended up with three bags in all, each of which teetered toward 50lbs. I was the luckiest girl in the world though because Maire agreed to come with me to the airport. And honestly, I don’t think there is any way I could have gotten here without her help- I am eternally indebted to her.
Now I’m at my gate and waiting for boarding to begin. I’m going to be so tired by the time I make it to Des Moines.
Here is my itinerary:
6:10 Train leaves Rennes
9:14 Arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport Paris
12:30 Leave CDG
2:40 Arrive in Washington DC (Dulles)
5:25 Leave Dulles
6:45 Arrive in Chicago O’Hare
8:40 Leave Chicago
10:15 Arrive in Des Moines
It might not seem so bad but consider that I had to wake up at 4am and there is a 7 hour time difference. That equals 25 hours of travel time. Eeek! Wish me luck!
Location: CDG, Paris, France
Time: Approximately 11:30 CEST, May 31st
A few minutes ago I was looking around for some place to charge my laptop and blog a little bit. I looked around for ages and finally found one plug that was at a workstation desk. A girl about my age was sitting there and she was visibly upset. I didn’t want to bother her because I could tell she had been crying and looked on the verge of starting again, but she made eye contact with me and asked if I wanted to sit at the desk. I told her I’d like to use the plug if she didn’t mind and she said that she was leaving and that I could sit there too. As she started to get her things together before walking away I offered a little kindness her way, paying if forward if you will. I simply smiled and told her that I hoped her day would get better and she turned to me to explain why she was upset. After a semester abroad she was returning home and was distraught about it. I offered her some sympathy but didn’t tell her that I have been here for nearly a year.
Yes, I am sad to leave France, and in particular Bretagne. It crushes me that I have no idea when I’ll be able to return to a place that was my home for so long and is so dear to my heart. But despite all this I’m not in tears. I’m not crying. I think that I’ve been here so long that I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I’m leaving. In fact, I’m kind of nervous to go home. I can’t wait to see my family, my new puppy and new house, but it’s been so long since I was on American soil that I’m afraid of the culture shock I’ll have when I return (I already hate the Americans I’ve encountered in the airport today). Maybe the tears will flow in few days when it’s finally settled in that I’m not in Rennes anymore.
Location: Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Time: Approximately 10pm CST (central standard time), June 1st
There aren’t many similarities between life in Rennes and life in Des Moines.
Even rainstorms are different. The rain is a humid, summer rain unlike the cold, wet, thunderstorms that would ravage Bretagne. Fittingly, it’s down pouring in Des Moines right now. Despite the difference, it’s making me think of Rennes. The gentle yet firm and persistent drops accosting my windows are a perfect metaphor of my current emotional state even though I’m happy to be back.
Location: Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Time: 9:28 CST, June 2nd
I was totally jetlagged yesterday after traveling for 30 hours the day before and my mom had to work so I just hung out all day in my pajamas with little LuLu. I was really tired but couldn’t really fall asleep and the one time my eyes did shut, my sister called and woke me up. Having nothing to do is a funny feeling. Anyway, after my mom came home from work we drove to the Verizon store and reactivated my phone (yes!), went to dinner at Nick’s Grill, and then I drove home. Driving a car again was really strange after so long outside of the driver’s seat- hell, out of any seat! The whole time I was in France I was only in two cars! One being the car that my mom rented and the other when a friend drove a few of us on a brief ride into the center. Today I’m meeting up with my mom for lunch and I’ll be driving the mini! I’m not too worried because I know driving a stick is like riding a bike, but at the same time I’m a little bit excited and nervous for it. It’s funny how mundane things can seem so exciting and new again after a prolonged hiatus.
That’s all for now, more later I promise <3