It’s been six months since I first arrived in Aix-en-Provence (Aix). The first semester flew by so quickly that it’s hard to accept that it’s already January; it seems like just yesterday I was stepping off the bus at the gare routière (bus station) at eleven o’clock confused and exhausted after a draining three-hour train ride from Paris. The reality is that it has been six months and the shock of being 4,000 miles away from home had not really hit me yet. The fall semester felt more like an extended holiday that I knew was going to end, but still, I was still under the initial shock of being in France, so I wasn’t realizing how fast time was passing. That being said, I had already been through the phases of homesickness and euphoria that comes while studying abroad, and for a short period of time in the beginning of January, I still felt that this program would never end which only added to the two extreme emotions I was jumping between.
My wavering emotions only intensified when I discovered that flights back to the United States were less than $300, meaning that I had to start planning my trip back home. I became relieved that I no longer had to stress about finding an end date to this adventure, but I was also newly stressed that I now had a very limited time to make the most out of my final months in Aix. I felt that I needed to make every second count due to the fact that I would no longer have the kind of freedom of travel and freedom from a job in America that I have here.