An Introduction (Une Présentation)

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany. Original photo from 2007.

Hello, my name is Emily Siner. I’m just a girl trying to travel the world.

I went to Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and Germany five years ago, and I have been determined to live in Europe ever since. Collegiate study abroad may be the closest I ever get to that dream.

For some students, this is an easy path to take, but mine was wrought with hard choices. In September, I had given study abroad barely any thought, except for this: To spend a semester in Europe, I’d have to give up an amazing job as an RA; I’d have to dip heavily into my savings account; I would be more rushed to finish my degree in four years; and, oh, I’d probably have to persuade my parents to support me despite all these obstacles.

Well, I had given in a little more thought than barely.

OK, fine. I thought about it every chance I got — which was, on average, once every waking minute. I thought of every possibility and made constant pro-con lists in my head. But the fact is, I was starting to care less about these obstacles — job experience, money, well-paced academics — and more about the dream. Living an adventure. Traveling Europe. Finding myself. Buying baguettes.

As I often do when I have to make hard choices, I finally decided to stop internal struggle and, à la Nike, just do it.

OK, again, that’s not completely true. I actually just came up with a cunning self-compromise: I would apply and wait until I got in to decide. But I also knew there was no way I would say no when I got my decision letter.

So here I am, 11 days away from leaving for Aix-en-Provence, France, and quite at peace with my decision. I cannot wait for the change and the adventure, though I am also pleasantly terrified at times. I hope this blog will portray to you the fruits of my budding experiences in Europe. I don’t intend it to be a daily journal of my trip — some stories are best left for parties and coffee dates. Rather, this will be a place to write my musings on travel, change, and life.

I decided on France because I knew I’d be able to speak the language and actually have a chance of achieving fluency. Plus, though I’ve never been there, I’ve studied the culture for almost seven years in French classes. I decided on Aix-en-Provence because I’ve heard it’s really, really cute. And, you know, educational.

The name of this blog came straight from the witty mind of Rebecca Schlesinger. I will thank her for letting me use it with a generous portion of French cheese.

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