Today may be the first day of 2017, but for me, tomorrow marks the start of a new chapter. In less than 24 hours, I will be waving goodbye to Florida and saying hello to France!
My first time travelling to Europe was during the Spring break of my junior year of high school. Little did I know that this one week trip would change my perspective on travel forever. No amount of travel within the US would satisfy my curiosity for what else is out there. After visiting Paris, I fell in love with the French culture. Besides the walking distance to the beach (I’m a true Florida girl at heart), this is why I chose the beautiful town of Nice to study in!
This would probably be the time in this post where I go on and on about how nervous yet so incredibly excited I am for this adventure to begin, and don’t get me wrong, I am! But, I have learned from a young age that sometimes it’s best to go into new experiences without any kind of expectation. That is just what I am doing. Being a freshman and studying abroad, I am often faced with questions from others, “You can study abroad your first year?”…”Aren’t you too young?”…”Are you nervous??” While preparing for my four month trip, I have come to the conclusion that I must not question or doubt myself even when others around me may. Therefore, I do not have any kind of expectation for how things should go nor do I have expectations for myself (other than not completely failing all of my classes). However, I am in the process of creating a European bucket list of places I’d love to see and things I need to try. (I’m definitely open to any suggestions!!)
While I’m abroad, I plan to eat…a lot. (Hello food pics!!!!) I’m a foodie, ok?! I blame my father and my partially Jewish upbringing. If you have a Jewish grandmother that makes matzo ball soup, you understand. I live on Yelp! Best crepes in the French Riviera? Yep, already have them flagged. Not only do I plan on going out to different restaurants and trying all kinds of new and exciting things, but I’m also really looking forward to cooking in my apartment.
As much as I like to eat, I also would rather not have to buy a new wardrobe a few sizes up (although I love to shop!!). I am not the biggest outdoorsy person, but I do love to stay active. From the age of 2 (and a half) I started dancing. I began competing with dance around the age of 8, and when I started high school, I joined the school’s dance team. Since moving to Gainesville, I stopped dancing, but I miss it dearly, so I may look into dance classes when I arrive in Nice! I’ve heard from friends who have taken dance classes abroad that often it is what we are typically used to here in the US, but I love learning new styles. I just hope I’ll be able to keep up since I’m so out of practice! I also enjoy participating in other types of fitness activities, such as running and crossfit. My sister and I have completed two half marathons, and there’s no better way to explore ta new city than a morning jog!
Just like I did not spend too much time in Gainesville before deciding to study abroad in Nice, I don’t plan on getting too acclimated in Nice because I plan on traveling a lot while I’m there. Besides the casual weekend trips with friends, I have plenty of family (I am the middle child of five) planning on visiting me. I hope to discover a new part of Europe with each family member. Of course we will do all of the touristy things (Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, etc.), but what I really look forward to is getting off the beaten path. (Just call me Anthony Bourdain.) Hopefully, I’ll get to make some incredible discoveries (in parts unknown), but I won’t be doing anything too crazy (apparently our insurance abroad does NOT cover bungee jumping accidents).