The first week I spent in Paris, France was hectic, confusing, hilarious, and overwhelmingly exciting. I’ve already learned so much from my experiences, and although I am extremely excited to start working at an amazing company, I am also incredibly nervous to see how my French experiences are about to change as I do less-touristy activities and live the day-to-day Parisian life.
My arrival taught me one of the most important lessons I need to learn and grow acclimated to: sometimes, not everything goes as planned. The Philadelphia Airport made sure to make me realize that very lesson. My initial flight was delayed until cancellation, and I inevitably missed my connection flight to Paris and was forced to find a hotel room (on my own for the first time!) and work through several (incredibly embarrassing) public breakdowns whilst coming up with a good answer to my problem. Like all issues, this was eventually resolved and I finally made it to Paris (24 hours later than planned, but better late than never, I suppose). I have experience traveling, both within and outside the US, but I have never had such an experience as this. I have learned that traveling, while I love it, is incredibly stressful and can be hectic even when planned out as much as possible. It is all part of the process, and I know now to just be patient, keep a clear head, and be pragmatic – nothing lucrative comes out of a panic.
I’ve met so many amazing people on this trip already and I am forever grateful to have been given the chance to be a part of this incredible journey. I have tried several cliche touristy activities (a bus tour around the city, sitting by the Eiffel Tower as it lights up, taking horribly obnoxious photos in front of landmark fixtures in Paris, and climbing up the Eiffel Tower, to name a few) and I know that I have a long way to go before I can acclimate to the day-to-day Parisian life.
I have been walking around Paris with rose-colored glasses, forever struck by the amazing architecture and monuments that carry so much history. I am excited and incredibly nervous to continue my journey into the professional spectrum. I am sure I will encounter various cultural and linguistic barriers, but I am confident that I will power through and maintain an optimistic outlook. I will try my best to keep my rose colored glasses on, even after a long work week.