I usually never have any dreams. Last night, however, I had two. In one I was frantically packing right before we had to leave, and in the other, someone didn’t make it past the TSA checkpoint. As soon as I woke up I checked that I had packed everything and made sure I didn’t have any restricted items in my carry-on. Despite my subconscious perhaps revealing the two parts of traveling that I am most worried about, I don’t feel too nervous about the plane ride to France. What I do feel nervous about, is speaking French. I just completed second-level French, but my speaking skills are sadly lacking. I am excited to be able to practice French, and hope that the trip will increase my speaking skills. I’m also interested in trying out French cuisine. Now that I think of it, I have never been to an authentic French restaurant here in the US. Even if I don’t like it, I am excited to have the experience of trying it.
Last summer I stayed in Colorado for five weeks with twenty four classmates as part of the ACE program run by Phillips. The trip to Colorado was the furthest and longest time I have ever traveled away from my family and my home. I know this is nothing compared to many of the boarders who journey to Phillips, but I include this to put into perspective what the prospect of flying across the Atlantic, to a country that speaks a different language and has a different culture, is like to me. I will be three-fourths further away than on the Colorado trip and in a completely different environment than I am used to. I’m not too nervous about being in France, seeing that I will be with friends and great teachers, but I am anticipating it. I want these next few hours to just get a move on so that we can leave.
For my project, I will compare the urban palaces of France with their rural counterparts, the châteaux. I will look at how the two types of buildings functioned differently, and I hope to take lots of great photos of them during the trip.