Paris: Invitation from a Beautiful City

Allison Zaucha is a student at East Carolina University and an ISA Featured Blogger. Allison is currently studying abroad in Paris on an ISA Fall 3 program.

Today is my third day and it is beginning just as magical as the others.  As I look out my window from my bed this morning, I see a clear sky, hear the sound of loud mopeds roaring down below, and feel the warm sun beaming through our window.  I must warn you…. this is not a dream.  Each morning, I believe that it is, yet I keep realizing that this is my lifestyle for the semester.  I am certainly okay with that!

I can’t believe that it has not even been a week in this amazing city and I already feel at home.  Of course I do not know the native language, but there is a spirit about Paris that invites you in if you let it.  The metro line has become my new best friend rather quickly and soon I will be trying to ride the public bikes all around the city.  There are many different thoughts about Parisians.   The key to understanding these beautiful people is to keep an open mind and attempt to follow local practices.

In following in local tradition, I kickstarted the day with some espresso at the apartment with Hillary.  After a few days of eating out and shopping at rue St. Michael…cooking and eating at home is a MUST.  Last evening I prepared a light pasta dish with fresh chicken, tomatoes, and mushrooms!  Cooking for the first time in my new apartment definitely brings a huge sense of achievement.

Later today, I will be meeting up with my best friend, Allie at Notre Dame.  Allie is studying abroad in Madrid and will be visiting for the day.  It literally blows my mind how our world is so international.  It is utterly fantastic.  At the same time it seems as though studying abroad has allowed me to take a step back with a pay-as-you-go phone that doesn’t allow me to constantly be texting and looking down at my iPhone screen.  Meeting up with Allie will be an adventure because we have a set destination at a set time and can’t have constant communication before the rendezvous.  The suspense of whether one can make it or if something came up.  The unknown.   I feel the constant communication in my normal lifestyle takes away from enjoying my surroundings and lends itself to a more rushed pace.  Paris has given me a break from my everyday and allowed me to expand my eyes to a new world.

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