Un Bon Voyage: France Recap

Un Bon Voyage: France Recap

And we’re back! Thanks for sticking with me the last few weeks everyone – I promise this will be worth the wait!

In case you missed it, I spent the last three weeks on a “cross-cultural” trip with my school – basically, a three-week term in another country with the goal of providing a more hands-on learning experience. Our trip took us to Strasbourg, France, located in the eastern region of Alsace (practically sitting on the German border). Most of our trip was spent in Strasbourg and the surrounding area, with a final three days in Paris.

Right before we left, I wrote a blog post about the things that scared me and excited me about going on the trip. I’m pleased to say it was just as exciting as I hoped, and nothing was nearly as terrifying as I feared! But I’ll save the details for later – I promised a recap of the trip, and a recap you shall have.

But hey, if you’re pressed for time, I understand – you can watch the special edition of my 1 Second Everyday project for the three weeks I was gone!

 

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Going on a Scary/Exciting Adventure

Going on a Scary/Exciting Adventure

When I was a kid, I was terrified of flying in airplanes. Not because I didn’t like heights, or because I thought we would all crash and die or anything. I knew that was highly unlikely – my dad used to explain to me how planes had a gazillion safety features, and how they could land anywhere, even in the water, if they needed too. So, in the event of a bizarre aircraft malfunction, I knew that I would probably be fine.

No, what I was terrified of more than anything was losing my favorite stuffed animal in the event that our hypothetical flight had to make an emergency water landing. I was incredibly distraught when I learned that luggage usually did not make it out of situations like that. So I, at whatever young age I was, resolved to never, ever fly in an airplane, especially over water.

I am pleased to report that I did eventually overcome this (perhaps irrational) fear. I actually took my first flight when I was in middle school for a class-related trip, and it was without my parents if you can even believe it. I survived. And I’ve taken plenty of flights since then, the Florida, California, Arizona, and Montana. Now, I’ve learned that of all the things to complain about on a flight, safety is usually not one of them. You can complain about the cramped seats and you can complain about the food, but ultimately, safety is not usually one of the main concerns. And I’m glad about that, because of all the things that I have to be terrified about for this upcoming trip, I’m glad that flying is not one of them.

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Cover image with thank you note and text reading "A Thank You Note: International Women's Day 2019"

A Thank-You Note

I had different post planned for this week, and then my body decided we were due for another cold. I spent most of the weekend sleeping and chugging DayQuil, and I didn’t really feel up to writing what I’d originally intended.

But since International Women’s Day was this past Friday (March 8), I thought it would be nice to write a little thank you note of sorts:

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Goals for 2019

Goals for 2019

Some of us might argue that setting goals for the new year is overrated, and I’m inclined to agree. As BlimeyCow so well explained in one of their recent videos, picking some far-off day in the future to make a change in your life isn’t always helpful in the end.

Even so, I still like the idea of setting goals and looking back at the end of the year and seeing how far I’ve come. But even if they’re goals for the year, I still take it one day at a time. Forget to write one day? Well, there’s always tomorrow. A setback on Monday doesn’t mean I can’t jump back on Tuesday and try again.

With that in mind, I want to look back on how I did with the goals I set for myself in 2018, then look ahead at what I want to do better in 2019.

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My teenage Hipster complex

My Teenage Hipster Complex

Recently, I committed the English major’s unpardonable sin.

Plagiarism? No, worse than that – I admitted that I haven’t read the Harry Potter series.

You would think from the scandalized gasps that I’d just admitted to first-degree murder, but that was not the case. Nope, I just haven’t read one of the most beloved fantasy series of all time.

Now, granted, I did pick up the first few books in my late teens, but I never finished the series due to (buckle your seatbelts) a lack of interest. That has actually been my reason for avoiding them all along – my parents never told me I wasn’t allowed to read the books, which might have been a more acceptable excuse at my religious college. No, the reason I didn’t read Harry Potter was because I didn’t want to.

You might be wondering, why didn’t I want to? I’ve always loved reading, and I don’t have anything against fantasy novels. Why didn’t I devour the Harry Potter series like the rest of my peers?

The answer is right there: everyone else was doing it, and therefore, I didn’t want to.

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When the Words Won't Come

When The Words Won’t Come

Anyone who’s ever written anything has probably sat down in front of their computer or notebook, all set to write, when they suddenly realize there’s a big problem – they’ve got nothing. All the ideas decided to flee the country as soon as they saw that blank page.

The typical solution is to just start writing anyway, even if it’s slow and painful at first. Even if you have to force the words out of your brain and onto the page, before you know it, writer’s block is a thing of the past.

At least, that’s usually what happens. But when writer’s block comes back day after day and the thought of sitting down to create something makes you feel hollow instead of joyful, it might be time to consider a different approach.

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I Took A Vacation And I Refuse To Feel Guilty About It

This week marks a month into the school semester, and trust me, I can feel it. Things have calmed down since that first overwhelming week of class, but I still find myself pretty busy with my jobs, classes, homework, and other commitments. Some days I float on, totally fine, situation normal. Other days, I have to work to keep my head above the ocean of tasks.

Each week has its mix of good and bad days, but the past week in particular felt like I was barely treading water. I had some fun things planned for the weekend, so I decided I was going to take a “vacation” – I wasn’t going to worry about all of the nonsense that was cluttering my brain, I was just going to enjoy the things I had planned.

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Tattoo Wishlist

Let me start off this post with a note to my parents: No, I didn’t go get a tattoo without telling you.

I’m fascinated by tattoos, but I don’t think I would ever actually get one. Nothing against tattoos at all – it’s just that for someone like me, who has trouble putting stickers on her laptop without thinking it over for approximately 3 years, the idea of getting something permanently inked into my skin is kinda terrifying. I have so much respect for people who have the commitment to get tattoos, but I’ll stick with wristbands and pins, thanks.

Still, sometimes I wonder if I absolutely had to get a tattoo, what would I get? What’s something that’s so important to me that I would want it with me for the rest of my life? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I’ve decided to compile it in a “tattoo wishlist” – one I’ll never act on, but a wishlist nonetheless.

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What I Learned This Summer

Summertime is special. Even if you’re working, there’s just something about the summer that feels like a break from the norm. Maybe it’s the warmer weather or the longer days. Whatever it is, it makes the summer seasons a refreshing time of year.

As many of you may know, I was offered a job at my campus this summer, and so instead of going home, I stayed on campus for the past three months. It was a new experience for me – even though I’d been away from home for over a month in the summer of 2017, it was much different to live on campus for the entire summer.

Between officially working full-time, living without a roommate, and buying actual groceries for the first time, I learned a lot these past few months. Since I shared a little bit about my summer experience last year, I thought it would be good to do it again as I close out this season and prepare for the new school year.

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20 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years

Just recently, I completed my 20th revolution around the sun, which is a pretty impressive feat. To be honest, I don’t feel that much different than when I was 19, but if having a birthday means I can have cake and ice cream, then you better believe I’m gonna celebrate it.

In celebration of my 20th birthday, I’ve decided to keep with my trend of making lists (18 Facts About Me and 19 Things I Want to Do) and share 20 things I’ve learned over the course of my life. Some of them will be ridiculous, others serious, but either way, these are the things I’ve taken to heart over the years.

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