I have been in France for about a week and a half now, and I simply cannot believe it. It’s been great and I cannot wait to share those stories with you all. But alas this is not my arrival in France blog post rather it is one focusing my on my journey to France ( I would have written this blog earlier but I have had absolutely no time at all for anything in the last week and a half ), and boy did I have an amazing journey.

My day started out in a rush. I started the day off with some pierogi or Polish dumplings, not really a breakfast food but it is a comfort food to me and I wanted one last taste of home before I set off for France. After that, I quickly filmed my departure day video,

 

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Saying Bye to my Beagle, Yogi

packed up my final things, tried to say goodbye to my beagle (he just kept wanting snacks) and set off for the airport with my parents. Waiting in line to turn in my luggage for the flight was surreal, and before I knew it I was saying goodbye to my parents. I almost cried, I could not believe it, I just kept thinking about how much I loved them and how I would be so far from them so soon, it was hard, but I hugged them tightly and got in line for the TSA security check. I then waived at them and yelled “I love you” in

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Saying bye to my parents

Polish over a crowd of people. I went through security, had my phone in my pocket and had to go through the scanner door thingy again (I don’t know what it’s called but you all know what I’m talking about), and then I was on the other side of the terminal, young, by myself, with a backpack and duffle bag, off to an international flight. I had just begun my adventure, and I truly felt like a traveler.

After this initial realization of where I was going, and what I was doing, I got myself into the open minded state of a young traveler, scared, eager, excited, ready to go, and open towards anyone and everyone. I only had 30 minutes before the boarding for my flight, but I took a few minutes standing by a giant window in the central terminal taking it all in. I then

 

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A Boeing 747, my ride

ran towards the international terminal, took an underground train at the airport to get there, and then found myself in front of a Boeing 747, my favorite model of airplane, awaiting my flight. I was flying from Seattle to Paris via Frankfurt on Lufthansa a German airline, and I was super excited and ready to go. I did take a few moments to marvel at the double decker 747, and as I was in the process of marveling, a girl around my age approaches me. She asked if she could ask me something, I, a bit confused, said sure, and then she asked me if I go to Western, to which I responded yes. She then introduced herself as Daria, and informed me that she too goes to Western and was flying to study abroad in South Africa, she said she recognized me from the mandatory study abroad orientation at school.  I then talked to her for a bit, got to know her a little, and found out she was blogging about her adventure as well for my school’s travel writer program (check her blogs out on WWU Study Abroad Blogs!), and was also going to a study abroad program organized by USAC

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Fellow WWU traveler Daria

the same company in charge of mine. We then talked for a little more and began boarding the plane, we were seated on opposite sides of the aisle, so we did not board together, but I ran into her once or twice on my flight, either way, it was a wonderful coincidence to run into another person from my school on my flight, and it honestly kind of made my day.As I entered the aircraft, I was greeted by a giant staircase, I took a few pictures of it, thought about how cool it would be to sit upstairs (it was for business class only) and continued to walk down the aisle to take my seat. I was then greeted by a positively perky and very British flight attendant, “Hello darling” she said, ” and where are we off to today” ” Paris” was my response, “I’m studying abroad in France”. She then smiled and said

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747 Staircase

“Paris, ooh la la , très bien” and I smiled laughed and said ” au revoir” as I went to take my seat. I had a window seat, and I looked out and saw the giant wing of our plane, I was awed by its size. Then the man next to me introduced himself to me. His name was Rick, he was a graphic designer for video games and he was moving to Sweden to work for EA. We talked for a bit, I introduced myself, and before I knew it we were in the air flying over my home. The view from the plane was beautiful and I could not stop looking out my window, I then played around with my seat monitor to load the map and see where we were flying, loaded a playlist of top European songs on the monitor, sat back and relaxed. It was then time for the first drink service, and being on a German airline I decided to get some beer, which I was given without even being carded. I then found myself drinking legally (the drinking age is 18 in Germany), and listening to European pop music at 34,000 ft., it felt pretty darn cool.

Later on in the flight, it was dinner. I was given the option to have pasta or beef, and I chose beef, I also ordered some red wine to go with it. The food was alright. After dinner, while the flight attendants were collecting trash, I decided to ask the very nice flight attendant from when I boarded if it would be alright to go upstairs and see what the upper deck looks like. I was a bit intimidated to do so because upstairs was business class, but I asked anyways, and to my surprise, she said yes and that she would get me soon for the tour. I was ecstatic. I waited for about 30 minutes, after which the pilot turned to lights off for sleeping, and she told me that we would have to go in a few hours, I was a bit disappointed but nonetheless happy she would still take me. I then sat back and talked to Rick a little more, learning about his daughter, his wife, and his dog. I also talked to Maryanne, an older woman sitting on the aisle side of our row and learned she

 

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Flying over Greenland

was traveling to Albania with her friend to explore southeast Europe. All three of us talked to each other for a bit, and it was such a cool feeling, I once again felt like a young traveler going out in the world and meeting new people, it was a wonderful opportunity. I then sat back watched a movie on the seat monitor (I finally saw Hidden Figures, it was really good), and 2 hours zoomed by. After the film, I stayed awake cracking open my window to look at the arctic circle and taking my adventure in.Once again two hours zoomed by and before I knew it, breakfast was being served.  Soon after breakfast, we were already over Germany, getting ready to land, and the flight attendants were collecting trash. I wondered where the British flight attendant was, I still wanted my tour, and then there she was. She was extremely nice and very enthusiastic about showing me around the giant plane we were on. She first took me to the front of the lower deck which was in the nose section of the plane as the cockpit was upstairs. This area was also business class, and in no other passenger plane in the world is it possible to stand in the nose, as I was doing at that moment. Right then and there the plane began to slightly descend, and I could feel the nose tilt down, it was a unique

 

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Dinner on my flight to Frankfurt, with wine

feeling.  She then took me upstairs, and finally, I was on the upper deck of the plane. To the average person it might not be anything special, just a business class section on a plane, but to the airplane enthusiast that I am it was amazing. I walked up a staircase at 30,000 feet in the air and was now standing on the upper deck of a giant plane. Human engineering has brought us to that point, and that’s really cool to think about. I was able to catch a glimpse out of one of the windows up there, and it was so fascinating to see the how much higher the view was, I could also see the size of the engines of the plane from an upper angle, and let me tell you they were huge (I wish I had pictures, but I don’t think I was allowed to take any). She then took my downstairs, I thanked her and took my seat. Right then the captain informed us we were beginning our descent into the Frankfurt area. Once we landed and the plane was parked, I gathered my stuff and began to exit the plane. I saw the kind flight attendant again and once again thanked her. She patted me on the shoulder, and I

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Check out the size of that engine

shook her hand, I asked her for her name and it was Beverly, I introduced myself as well and she responded with a “très bien” saying there was a Sebastian on her crew. I then bid her an “au revoir”, and exited the plane. After the flight, I once again met up with Daria, and we briefly talked about the flight. She also informed me that had a very long layover and was going to visit a nearby town in Germany, which I thought was really cool. I wish I could have gone with her, but I only had 3 hours till my next flight. As we were about to enter customs, we had to part ways as she was heading in a different direction than I was. I wished her well and headed toward the customs that would let me out toward my gate. When I got to customs, there was almost no one there, I took the line for European citizens (I have a Polish passport) which had no one in it and simply scanned my passport on a machine, and voila I was in the EU. I then wandered around the airport for a bit, waiting for my flight, ran into Rick waiting for his flight, and after about 3 hours began boarding my plane to Paris. Soon after take-off, the flight attendants gave us drinks and a small sandwich, and I sat back relaxed, ate my food, listened to some bosa nova music, and before I knew it I was in Paris.Now, as I sit here, already settled in at my dorm in Lyon. I cannot help but think about the act of traveling or being en route. My journey to Paris was amazing and I am so thankful for how it turned out. Many people hate traveling, and they have valid reasons. Traveling is exhausting, it’s hard to get decent sleep when you travel a lot of the time you’re cramped into little tiny seats on a bus plane or train, but I love it nonetheless. Being settled in in another place sure is great, and I love it as well, but there is something truly amazing and awe inspiring about traveling. When you travel you are constantly in motion, in a new place, catching glimpses of new scenes and seeing new things. There is this surreal feeling about being en route, and it gives you time look at the ever-changing landscape around your, reflect about your own life, and think about how amazing it is that you’re in motion. To me anyways there is something calming about that. Traveling helps you realize how big, beautiful, and unique our world is, and every time I travel I fall in love with the world all over again.

Now, as I sit here, already settled in at my dorm in Lyon. I cannot help but think about the act of traveling or being en route. My journey to Paris was amazing and I am so thankful for how it turned out. Many people hate traveling, and they have valid reasons. Traveling is exhausting, it’s hard to get decent sleep when you travel a lot of the time you’re cramped into little tiny seats on a bus plane or train, but I love it nonetheless. Being settled in in another place sure is great, and I love it as well, but there is something truly amazing and awe inspiring about traveling. When you travel you are constantly in motion, in a new place, catching glimpses of new scenes and seeing new things. There is this surreal feeling about being en route, and it gives you time look at the ever-changing landscape around your, reflect about your own life, and think about how amazing it is that you’re in motion. To me anyways there is something calming about that. Traveling helps you realize how big, beautiful, and unique our world is, and every time I travel I fall in love with the world all over again.