Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lone Traveler

What a day it has been.... I started my "day" on Monday at 8 AM, I got up got ready and inevitably drove my Mom to work. Unfortunately, the night before when I had tried to lift the suitcase we had purchased, I could barely pick it up. My mom almost started crying and told me I had to find something smaller. So after dropping her off at work Monday morning I went to the mall to purchase the new suitcase. This one was about 4 inches shorter, which for me makes a huge difference. I went home and unpacked and repacked for the third time and was finally ready to go. Brian took me to the airport via way of first dropping my mom's car off at her office and saying our final goodbyes.

Brian was very nice and helped me check in my luggage and made sure I go up the escalator to security before we went our separate ways. This was the first time I had ever traveled alone before. I have gone on flights without my parents before but not without knowing someone on the flight. But luckily I've traveled enough by myself that it wasn't a huge problem. My flight from Albany to Philly was delayed due to the unpleasant weather and deep freeze, however, we got off only about 30 minutes later. Once in Philly I had about 3 hours to kill before my flight. I filled most of the time by either sitting or pacing back and forth. I ate half a sandwich which later made me feel sick on the plane, but otherwise the wait wasn't horrible. Again in Philly the plane had another delay, this time due to Mechanical issues. However, about an hour later we were on hour way to Paris.
Watching the sunrise over France

Apart from not feeling well the flight was very smooth and relatively quick. I watched "The Butler" for the first leg of the trip which I thought was wonderful. We arrived in Paris only 15 minutes later than scheduled, so at about 8:10 or so. I was expecting it would be more difficult to go through security and customs, however it only took me about 2 minutes, including the waiting time in line. I grabbed my suitcase which was 48 lbs and decided that taking a taxi might be easier and less stressful for me. It was about a 30 minute ride to the train station so I had 3 hours to kill until my train from Paris to Grenoble. While I was watching the monitors a girl came and sat next to me. This is how I made my first friend in Europe! She (Dammy) noticed I was reading a book and got really excited and asked me if I spoke English. Dammy was from London meeting her friend in Lyon and didn't speak a word of French either. Her train left an hour before mine but we spend about two hours chatting and it was really nice and we exchanged phone numbers so hopefully I'll have a friend I can visit when I'm in London.

I got on the train to Grenoble no problem. I was seated in coach because it was only slightly more expensive and I spent most of the trip asleep. France from what I did see was very, very green. I got into Grenoble at almost 4 PM and took a taxi to my apartment. 1 Rue Roger Josserand. The woman in charge got me all settled in and had me sign a few more papers. She showed me around my room as well as the laundry room, fitness center, and sauna. She asked me to come back in 30 minutes because her printer wasn't working. I used this time to finally take a shower. Unfortunately for me, for some reason I couldn't figure out how to get the water hot no matter how much I turned the nobs so it was very unpleasant. Also, I had planned to buy towels and bedding once I got here rather than bring it with me, so I used my shirt as a towel. I highly recommend avoiding this experience at all costs! Take warm showers and use proper towels, you will feel much better!

After I met with the woman in charge again, she gave me a box full of kitchenware and I was finally ready to go! She gave me a map and I finally ventured into the city of Grenoble. As I tried to follow the map I got more and more lost. I asked a handsome Frenchman to give me directions and I was finally in the right direction again. I approached the train station where I had arrived earlier and could see Grenoble Encole de Management just on the other side. The problem was I wasn't sure how to get to the other side. After asking for directions, again, I was finally able to get there. Once at the school I had no idea where building C was so I got frustrated and left. It was already after 6 and I was tired. I started wandering in what I though was the right direction only to get myself even more lost. I realized I hadn't really had anything to eat and had forgotten my lunch on the train so I stopped at a kabob shop and ordered some dinner. I tried asking the gentleman where on the map we were. I didn't speak French, and he didn't speak English. It made things a little challenging. Another woman walked in who did speak english however, I told me how to get home. I was only 3 train stops and about a 15 minute walk away... After eating, taking the train and finally figuring out where I was I stopped in a store to buy some odds and ends like soap and cereal and garbage bags, to name a few. By the time I finally got back I was ready to crash. I still had no bedding or towels. With the help from my dad I decided to use my coats as blankets for the night and tackle that problem tomorrow. I went to bed at about 9 after having a chance to reconnect with a few people back home. Luckily I have free wifi here so I am able to do so.

It is now 4:30 AM and I am realizing how bad my jet lag will probably be. I have found someone to walk me to the school tomorrow so I won't run the risk of getting lost again and I am safe and settled. My apartment is perfect for me. This is just a little bump in the road and I'm excited to see what tomorrow brings!

Au Revoir!


  1. What an adventure on your first day!! It's just the start to something beautiful!! Love you sweetheart!!

  2. Sounds like you're eating and drinking well, anyway! It can be hard to be away from home, but just focus on all of the new adventures, and learning all that you can, and the time will fly by. It's really exciting!