There were many times in Paris where I actually felt desperate to go home. I missed my friends and iced coffees and the feeling of being somewhere that felt familiar. At the time though I knew I’d miss being in Paris so much. By the end of my 4 months there, the novelty of just waking up and moving around Paris as part of my daily routine had only worn off the tiniest bit, and I found myself panicking a little as the time to go home drew closer. I felt ready to leave, but I was also dreading the inevitable realization of what I had left behind.
Settling back into life on campus, at Northwestern, was surprisingly easy. Everything seemed to just click back into place once the initial vertigo of being back had worn off. Because of this, though, my life back in Paris feels like this weird, insulated dream. I look back on days wandering around not just Paris, but other European cities like Amsterdam and London and find myself shocked to think of how far away I was from the people and places that were familiar to me.
I find myself constantly in the mood to evoke some vibes from my time there – I listen to a lot of French music and constantly look back through my own photos and others of just the streets, trying to recreate that feeling of being there. Even though I got to experience that feeling for 4 entire months, at this point it feels just like a single instant I keep mentally returning to. I’m already thinking ahead to post-grad life, wondering when I’ll have another opportunity to go back.