Just two more weeks and then it will finally be my turn.

Two weeks from today will be my first day as a student in Paris. Well, “student” may be a bit too optimistic of a term considering that, for at least the first few days, I won’t be studying much of anything except a map in furious hope that I don’t get too terribly lost.

“But why would you be nervous?” My friends ask. “You’ve been to Paris before.”

Yes, that’s true. My first visit to Paris was at age 11, when my appreciation for the culture of the place was about what you would expect. My fondest memories are of eating ice cream and of running rampant in the backyard of a chateau with the other fifth graders.

My second trip to Paris was at age 17, when I began to better appreciate just what was so special about the city. But even then I was just a visitor passing through: sleeping in a hotel, hitting the tourist hot-spots, not particularly aware of how it would have felt to actually live there.

This time it’s going to be different. Paris is going to be my home for almost four months, a thought which both excites and terrifies me.

What if, after 21 years of living in the American South, I’m not suited for Parisian life? What if my French really sucks and my host family thinks I’m stupid?

I’ve got two more weeks until I fly across the Atlantic and find out.

Until then, I’ll be sitting at home, waiting for Paris.

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