I now have two and a half days left in Ketchikan: Tuesday, Wednesday, and I'm flying off around 1 on Thursday. My packing began yesterday, and slowly but surely I have been making progress on filling my suitcase and also organizing the things I'll leave behind. After leaving on Thursday, here are some expectations I have:
- Travel should go relatively smoothly. I'm flying to Seattle, New York and then Paris, and falling asleep on each of the three flights should be no problem. Once in Paris, the trouble will be finding something to do with myself, as I'll have about 12 hours between the time I land and the time I have to be boarding the TGV (high-speed train) for Strasbourg. After two hours on the train (more sleep?) my new home will be only a block-long walk away from the station.
- Everything will not be exactly as I imagined it. You can't help but picture living in a place when you've been anticipating your journey there for month. My image of the city and the people I will meet will surely be blown away quickly, but I know that won't be a disappointing experience, but a fun one.
- I will face unexpected as well as expected difficulties. I expect to have troubles adjusting to and dealing with a number of things: different power outlets, different units of measurement, different nuances of politeness, and of course, a different language. At the same time, however, I realize there are going to be many little things popping up that I would never be able to anticipate. Traveling is one thing, but living somewhere for months requires many little activities of daily life of which the "American way" is likely something I take for granted. All the same...
- I know I will have fun. How could I not? I've been off-and-on thinking in French this whole summer with few opportunities to speak it. It's about time to jump off the linguistic bridge and prove that I'm a good swimmer.