"See you in 10 months"

I'm going to be completely frank with you, as much as I get mad or annoyed with my family sometimes- I seriously couldn't have asked for a better family.Yesterday was my godfather's son's birthday party and I was expecting the adults to be telling me that I'm going to miss my parents over and over like always but surprisingly I got none of that. I decided to sleep over just to be able to spend some time with my goddaughter because I know how much she enjoys my company. I know people will miss me here but she'll definitely be one of the ones that will miss me the most since she's still a kid. We spent the night just laughing like dorks and watching the Disney Channel despite the fact that I have no idea about their new programming. Today my family and my godfather's family went to dinner and to the movies to watch Cowboys and Aliens and after the movies I experienced my first round of my "see you laters." No, I did not start crying since I'm good at keeping my emotions to myself but saying "see you in 10 months" (the title of today's post) was a little tough. The drive back home consisted of my dad telling me how the rest of my family is reacting to me leaving. As I've mentioned before, Mexican families have a tough letting someone my age go, in fact no one in my family (and my family is huge) has left to go study elsewhere- no one. I almost started crying in the car, especially after telling my parents that my godfather gave me a financial gift. I do get overwhelmed with emotions when people do nice things for me since I don't ask for anything. I'm just happy that I have my loved ones support during this, anything more than that well I feel like I don't deserve but I'm still extremely thankful for.

I'm just very happy to be leaving to Paris but even more about the fact that I have a lot of amazing and extremely caring people in my life. I'm incredibly thankful that I was taught the importance of family from a young age and in my opinion that's the most beautiful thing that the Mexican culture has to offer. I've been telling everyone that they don't have to worry about losing touch with me since I'm on the computer a lot and I will make sure to keep in touch with my love ones- now I just hope I can make everyone proud.

My "see you laters" will resume sometime this upcoming week in Tijuana with my mom's side of the family.

Cleaning Out

The new and improved music corner in my room.
One of the things that my mom told me to do this summer was to clean my room, easy task right? Wrong. She basically wanted me to leave my room the way I want it to look like when I come back from studying abroad- this means getting rid of many of things and throwing out my old schoolwork. I like to describe myself as a baby hoarder, I don't keep everything but when it comes to schoolwork I just can't seem to let things go. This week we began cleaning, organizing, and separating the things I no longer want. It was like going back in time, I saw old French homework, clothes I used to wear in high school (and that I can't believe I used to wear), and CDs back when pop-punk was considered "cool." Getting rid of things that remind you of the past is challenging but I think it was a necessary step for me to focus on the future. I'll even tag this as a tip because I think a lot of people just worry about things to take but they don't really think of things to finally get rid of in order to move forward.

We're almost reaching the final two weeks before I leave to study abroad!

My French visa has arrived!

It has been a couple of days since my last blog post but I haven't really done anything Paris-related. I attended Comic-Con for the second year in a row just to get into the True Blood panel. After getting into the panel I was extremely lucky to have met  Alexander Skarsgård (/queue the fangirling). But that really has nothing to do with Paris, unless I could take Alexander Skarsgård along but I don't think that would be possible.

This morning mom woke me up with something very special. No, not a gift or breakfast in bed but the FedEx package with my passport and French visa! I have to admit I am not used to not smiling in pictures but who cares about that when you are one step closer to leaving. I'm honestly so happy! Packing round 2 is coming up sometime this week and I need to make sure to buy the things on my list that I need.

20 more days till I get on a plane!

Packing: round 1

So I've started packing my bags just so I can see what I'm going to take and what I still need to buy. I've also started making a list of things so I can avoid over packing but the thing is, I think I'm already over packing! I'm looking at websites for tips but most of them are for regular vacations, not a school year. I know I'm going to do a little shopping here and there, but I know that I'm not going to be the shop since I'm already aware the French are not as crazy about "sales" as we are. We'll see how things go but for now I'm just really glad that my parents are coming to "drop me off" in Paris because I'll be able to use some of their luggage as extra storage.

French Visa Process

I got so many warnings and tips about the visa from various people about the visa process. My dad's friend told me the employees were extremely rude, while past students just told their horror stories about how they got denied the first time they made their appointment. I arrived to the consulate confident because I knew I had every paper that was listed on the website and in the exact order that was on their website. My appointment was at 10:15am, but I arrived at 9:10am. The visa offices are actually on the back of the French consulate building which I didn't know until I arrived. I didn't even wait 10 minutes before I was let in. There was a metal detector and a French security guard who looked pretty intimidating but in reality he was far from intimidating. He asked to see my application, my passport, my driver license before walking in. I spoke to him in French for a bit, and he reassured me that my broken French was good and that it was just going to get better during my stay. Turns out the intimidating security guard was actually a chatter box! After spending about 5 minutes chatting away, he let me in. It looked like a dentist office, I swear! I was expecting offices and having to sit in front of a worker but there were only two booths and a sitting area. I saw people go up to one of the booths, some with all their paper organized while others tried to find the papers they were being asked for.

My visa appointment is tomorrow!

I have all the papers and the copies ready and organized in my binder. I'm also prepared if they ask to see another document since I have every document and email in my binder. It's all nice and organized so I'm feeling pretty confident about tomorrow. Is it normal to be as excited as I am? I seriously feel as if I'm going to Disneyland, I'm that excited. I'm thinking of doing a little vlog tomorrow, so you'll get to see that tomorrow night or on Tuesday. Now I have to go to bed since I have to wake up at 4am just to get to the French Embassy a bit early than my appointment.

Bonne nuit et croise les doigts pour moi ! 


By this time next month I will be recovering from jet lag in Paris. Words cannot describe how excited I am to be on French soil for 10 months.

These are some the things that I'm looking forward to accomplish during my stay in Paris:

  • Making new (and hopefully French) friends
  • Improving my French
  • Attending La Sorbonne
  • Experiencing the Parisian nightlife/concert scene
  • Taking as many pictures as I can
  • Traveling to Barcelona, Florence and hopefully other cities as well
  • Stop being as shy and reserved
  • Learn how to be more independent
  • Passing all my classes since I do have to graduate eventually
This will probably the the most important year of my life (as of right now) and I'm making sure I take full advantage of it. I have a month left to enjoy my friends and family, clean my room, have a Mexican food coma, and wait till the day that I board the plane.

My EF Tours Trip to France

In today's blog post I'm going to share some stories and pictures from my first time in France. I went to France in senior year of high school with EF Tours and it was such a great experience. We got to explore Paris and many of the castles in the Loire Valley. Hope you enjoy the stories and the pictures!

French visa appointment

I have my appointment to get my visa at the French Embassy in Los Angeles on Monday so I've spent the past week filling out the forms and organizing the paperwork that I need to present. Prior to this whenever someone would ask me about how I feel about going to France, I would just tell them that it didn't feel real yet- that it still felt like a dream. Even with having paperwork getting mailed and receiving emails from the exchange program, I was still in a dream phase but I can assure you that I'm no longer in that phase. With a little over a month before I pack my bags and say goodbye to San Diego and Tijuana for 10 months, I don't think I can afford being in the dream phase anymore. The fact that I'm leaving probably feels even more real for my dad and especially his bank account (thank you California budget cuts!) but for right now I'm looking forward to the last and most important piece of the puzzle that I need- my visa.

I have a feeling that I might shed a tear of happiness if I get approved for the visa on Monday. Je croise les doigts ! :)

"Nos vas a extrañar cuando estes en Paris"

"You'll see that you're going to miss us in Paris." This is probably one of the phrases that I've heard the most ever since I got accepted into the study abroad program back in April. Every Mexican adult from my parents to their friends has told me this. Of course, I'm going to miss them- I've lived with them for 21 years so it would be unnatural for me not miss them but I also think that I'm at that point in my life where I'm ready to live outside of their house. Paris is not a permanent thing, but it will be a little taste of what it's like to be an independent person.

Qui suis-je ? Who am I?

My name is Laura and I'm a fourth year college student from San Diego majoring in French and minoring in European Studies. Now I'm no writer and I'm not the first American who will be studying abroad in Paris but I believe that I will provide a new point of view in an already familiar plot.