So I’ve been toying with the idea of making a blog documenting this year, my year abroad in Carcassonne, France and have finally set my mind on doing it so here we are! I figured a blog would be a way to show friends and family all about my year whilst I’m here and also provide a way for me to be able to look back either in nostalgia or to help me with reflective assignments for uni this year.
So far I’ve been here in Carcassonne for 11 days and there have been so many ups and downs in those 11 days that it feels like I have been here for an eternity. My first 3 or 4 days were so rocky that I was constantly checking the ryanair website for cheap flights home asap. I cried down the phone to my family at every given opportunity, even managing to find my responsable’s office wasn’t enough for me and I convinced myself there’s no way on God’s earth that I can do this… & then on the 5th day God created that amazing feeling of achievement.
After a pep talk down the phone from my mum I was convinced that I should give up my, so far seemingly, hermit lifestyle in France and get out and do something so I set myself a task of opening a bank account. After reassuring texts from my best friend that it is in fact not as ‘difficile’ to open a French bank account as I was expecting I headed out to find a bank and stumbled across Crédit Mutuel and thought “hey ho let’s do this!” I sauntered through the door and asked the lady at the front desk “Puis-j’ouvrir une compte bancaire s’il vous plait?” and she told me I needed an appointment but seeing as it was early and I had all the documents I needed she’d see what she could do, and within seconds I was being directed to the office of her co-worker up the stairs. As quick as a, bilingually mishmashed, flash I had an account! Acheivement! I pretty much skipped out of the bank and headed back to my logements to inform the parents of my amazing experience and ability to communicate with a fully functioning, pretty important French area of life! That was the turning point.
After this turning point I felt the only thing I was lacking was a friend so I headed off to the British shop up the rue from my accommodation and asked the girl behind the counter if she knew where I could meet people. We formed a bond as we realised that we go to/went to the same university and clubs. Et voilà a friend since then we’ve been on many nights out and have become pretty loved in the local Irish bar, resulting in free shots! So it’s like a night out in Hull but with nicer surroundings and different culture/language. Already I’m feeling at home. My friend count is mounting by the day, I now have 4 real life friends and feel like I’m getting somewhere with my life here.
Today I had a small moment where I had an odd feeling which was explained to me, by a friend, as “You’re in a different country with a different language; you want to be there, but you haven’t started doing what you’re there to do. You’re basically in a weird holding pattern where you’ve accomplished part of what you want but haven’t really done it yet. At the End of the Beginning, but barely at the Beginning of the Middle. That’s a confusing and odd place to be. Makes sense you’d feel that way.” Makes perfect sense, so I guess all I need to make this place feel amazing is for me to fulfill what I’m out here to fulfill!