Fear . A four letter word that seems to affect us all differently in many ways. For me, I fear change so you can expect how I felt when leaving my life that I always knew of in Canada and flying across the ocean and being immersed into an unknown culture. there were so many things going through my mind as I packed up my life in a suitcase..
Yes I literally brought one suitcase to france… I’m not materialistic as you probably can guess.
So what exactly did I fear? Probably the majority of the same things many travellers are afraid of when starting any journey abroad actually but for me this whole experience was new and frightening.
The food is going to be disgusting.
When I thought of france i thought: city of baguettes and cheese. Two things that i never had any interest in eating at home because quite frankly they aren’t that good. The first couple of weeks were rough as I refused the traditional french foods but once I overcame my fear and just gave in, i learned that cheese and bread is actually delicious when you eat the real deal and not the processed packaged stuff. If you have never had camembert from France then you seriously cannot have an opinion on cheese!
No one will understand me.
Imagine living and breathing in a city that doesn’t speak your native language. Now i can get by in french but the fear of not knowing how to ask something or if I needed help in a situation was frightening beyond belief. Turns out when I get a couple glasses of wine into me i’m fluent; who knew.
I’ll be lonely
I feared that I wouldn’t be able to make friends,, which turned out not to be true. Thankfully I’ve met some of e best people here and now have friendships for many years to come.
I’ll get lost.
Heck I get lost everyday in paris but that’s what makes its fun. Wandering the narrow cobble streets without the access to google maps is the only and best way to find the real hidden gems in paris. You pay more attention to the little things that may be missed or passed by with a set destination.
I’m going to be homesick.
Sorry to my lovely family back home but I haven’t experienced that crazy sense of homesick yet ( knock on wood) yes I grew up with a very superstitious grandmother and it’s just habit now to say this. I have cried once since I’ve been here and the reason for that was far from being homesick but upset for what I was about to miss even more.
The family isn’t going to like me.
Welcome to the nightmare of my first two and a half weeks here. I felt so uncomfortable in such an unfamiliar setting which i should have taken as being normal, but i took it as they didn’t like me and that this wasn’t the family for me. Fast forward a couple days from there and something instantly changed. I’m not sure what it was, but since that day things have been amazing and I feel so at home; like a big sister to their daughter.
It’s not something new for me as I’ve always had a fear of changing what I’m comfortable with. I lived a very structured life full of routine before coming here. I knew exactly what I was doing, where I was going and what I would be eating the next day. Fast forward to today and I don’t know what I’ll be doing in 10 mins.
i’ve learned that change is something inevitable in our lives if we ever want to grow and move on. I could have stayed in Nova Scotia for the rest of my life without even attempting to explore the endless possibilities that are in this it world waiting for me, but i took the chance while I had it and faced the scary four letter word.
If I could give any advice to anyone that feels trapped in their daily routine and wanting to see what else is out there, just do it. Don’t think twice. Once you know where you want to go and what you want to do, you should go and experience it while you can and while you’re young. Talk to the majority of your elders from your hometown and ask them what they regret most about their lives and more often than not it will be that they didn’t travel and experience the crazy things that life has to offer.
Go, see the world now while you have the opportunity.