13 June 2011

Missing things

I've been in Europe exactly nine months now. Being June 13th, that also means that I've got exactly one month left until I arrive back home. One month sounds like so long to me, despite the fact that I've already endured (and enjoyed) nine months here. In that time, I've missed some pretty big events in the lives of my favorite people. Rosie got married, Erica had a baby, Stephanie met the man of her dreams, Maddox hit all the milestones of a healthy, growing baby, Bree planned her wedding, Taylor got engaged. New jobs were started and old ones lost, birthdays passed, family crises were dealt with and this all happened without me. Today, my little sister (technically Brooke's my cousin) graduates from high school; I also missed her prom. In the month I have ahead of me, I'll miss one best friend's birthday, another best friend's bachelorette party, and my Uncle Mark's epic Fourth of July party. It's easy to feel that I've selfishly missed all of these milestones but I shouldn't. Luckily, all of these people whose milestones I've missed have been super supportive of me getting out of the US for a little while. Sorry guys, 9 months was longer than I thought. 

Won't find this in Seattle... Burg Lichtenberg, Germany 
As excited as I am to get back, there are things that I know I will miss about living in Europe. So distract myself from thinking of all the people and places I can soon see and the things I can finally incorporate back into my life (cars, gym, quality ethnic food), here's a list of what I'll be missing out on:
-Sébastien, Silvia, Raphaël, Laureline, Jean-Michel, and Françoise. No explanation necessary.
-French. I still love the language and am continually learning new words and improving. (Most recent word: kinder: brune à l'extérieur mais blonde à l'intérieur. The name comes from Kinder chocolates, which are filled with white chocolate.)
-La bise. Once I got into the habit, I grew to love it. Don't be weirded out if I kiss you on both cheeks when I get home. 
-Being able to travel Europe quickly and more cheaply than if I departed from the US! 
-Being surrounded by history. I love turning the corner to find a building that's older than Seattle. 
-The scent of walking past pâtisseries and boulangeries is heavenly. I wish I could bottle it up. (I'll leave the scent of poissonneries and fromageries in France... I little too pungent for me!)
Hard to compare with Pike Place... Le marché in Le Mans
And for a few things that I will not be missing: 
-Smokers everywhere. It always seems to be that I was something because it smells like smoke and then the first time I rewear it again, I instantly reek of smoke again. You can't avoid smokers here, no matter how hard you try. It's disgusting and it's worse here in Lille than anywhere else I've been. 
-Not having a car. You'd think I'd have all the freedom in the world living over here in Europe. That's true, no one really cares what I do... but I'm limited by where I can get to by foot, bus, or train, which also kills my motivation. I'm sick of public transportation!! Give me a car and a full tank of gas!
-Everything shutting down on Sundays. 
-The fact that nothing happens instantly or without a ton of pointless paperwork or extra steps. If the French ever discovered instant gratification, I don't know what they'd do. 
-Working only three days a week. It sounds great but it actually sucks. I have all this free time but no one to spend it with. It leaves a lot of time to start missing people, things, and places.
-I will not miss missing my friends, family, or my real life. 
I love this place.... Sacré Coeur, Paris... one of my favorite sites, hands down
This experience has been life changing. It's been amazing, frustrating, and difficult over the past nine months. The next month will be tough. I'm so ready to go that it's all I can think about. But I don't want to miss out on what I have left, either... 


kinder: brune à l'extérieur mais blonde à l'intérieur - A brunette who's blond on the inside
Une pâtisserie - a pastry shop 
Une boulangerie - a bakery 
Une poissonnerie - a fishmonger, fish shop 
Une fromagerie - a cheesemonger, cheese shop


  1. i'm leaving july 15th ! i can't believe our time is almost up...

  2. Correction: Mark is your second cousin. But, close enough. We intend do be at his bash. Bec & Steve may join us again.
    I returned from Turkey knowing that I may kiss people on each cheek, too. That is their customary way of greeting each other. It takes a while to get used to it.
    Hey, you mentioned scents. Try looking around for concentrated lavender oil. The French are known for it. It smells wonderful w/ a bit of aromatherapy behind it. You may find that it is inexpensive there. I small vial of .5 ounces would last you for years. Just a random thought as your trip expires. Love you!!!! dAD

  3. Can't wait to see you, Kelse. This will always be a very precious time to look back on.

    DO EVERYTHING. Don't tell yourself 'I'll come back and visit here, and do this'. Take it from Dorothy Hampton and 'do it NOW'.

    Even when you do come back, you'll come back to these places as a different person, with different people, you won't be able to duplicate this adventure.

    Let NOTHING kill your motivation. GO GO GO! =)

  4. Enjoy every second you have left! BISOU x

  5. I love Paris, Enjoy! Very nice pictures.

  6. Salut!

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