In late August, my sister was to be married on an Alaskan cruise. Our family and other wedding guests which equaled near 40 headed down to Seattle, Washington to board the cruise a few days later. For all of you who have been following my blog for a while, you will know that I am deathly afraid of flying (although I think this is slowly passing). I took this as a great opportunity to practice flying and to get over the fear before heading to France a few weeks later.
Alaska was beautiful, amazing, stunning, a dream come true, insert any other incredible adjective here. The wedding was sweet and touching and awesome because it was my sister’s.
I arrived home from Alaska on September 1st, only 14 days before I would hop on another plane to France! The phone calls between Max and I became exciting and eager. I started packing my stuff and putting everything in boxes to store in my parent’s basement. I developed a strange obsession with vacuum packing, which is a miracle by the way, if you haven’t tried that yet. I donated half of my wardrobe to my friends and little sister. I sold my television and my drum set. And yes, all of these things were done within these last few weeks. It was an exciting time but basically a blur.
There were moments during these past few weeks where I was terribly sad to be leaving my friends. We hung out many, many days during this time. We stayed up late, talked for hours, ate lots of food and generally had the best time ever before I left. It made the transition quite beautiful. I knew that seeing Max would just be incredible but to have an amazing time before I left as well was really perfect.
Just a couple of days before I left, I was invited over to my parent’s house for a birthday party for my mom. About an hour after I arrived, Maryam showed up and I was terribly confused. I was at my own surprise good-bye party! This is another moment that I’ll remember forever.
After all of these delicious last moments in Canada, the day had finally arrived where I was to leave. I was nervous to fly across the Atlantic ocean for the first time (although note that I’ve flown over the Pacific to Hawaii). I called Max just moments before I boarded the airplane knowing that I’d see him in just a few short hours.
Something incredible happened during the flight, my anxiety at a certain point turned into impatience and excitement. I just wanted to get to France and I was genuinely appreciative to be on this smooth airplane ride with the most amazing view of a sunset over the ocean. It nearly brought me to tears and it was a huge accomplishment for me in terms of overcoming fears. We even had an emergency landing (heart-attack…not me though!) and I was still so cool and relaxed about everything.
The best moment came when we landed. I have never felt so impatient in my entire life. I literally ran off the airplane, took a little detour to the bathroom, changed into a stunning dress and heels, washed my face, brushed my teeth, and put on some make-up. I didn’t even sleep for one minute on the airplane so clearly this energy was coming out of thin air.
I developed a strength I didn’t know I had when I lifted my two suitcases off the belt like I was the Hulk or something. I may have even impressed a few people in that moment. Then I ran over toes and knocked over children and pushed old people out of the way as I ran out of the main doors with no care about anything besides the fact that I wanted to see Max NOW!
And there he was, all handsome in some new clothes. We proceeded to make-out even though his dad was there which was probably incredibly awkward for his dad but 3 months people!
At that moment, my tiredness hit me straight on and didn’t leave me for a week.
My first moments in France were all a blur. I was so high on the feeling of finally being here, finally living out my dream, that all the moments feel jumbled up into one giant feeling of gratitude and love.
I do recall that much to my jet-lags protest, the first weekend was incredibly busy and was spent in Reims where I got to see the 800 year old cathedral, tour around a little, have my first real-French coffee in a real French cafe, drive through Paris, and watch Max’s dad race sports cars.
This story is growing longer than expected so there will be a part 3 next week covering what it was like to live in a French city.
Thanks for sticking with this everyone!
(part 1 here)