I have been in Laval for a little over a week now, and this past week has been a roller coaster. About Monday or Tuesday, I was feeling extremely overwhelmed. Now that I’m here, I’m required to finish my immigration paperwork and actually live, as an adult. What many of you back home may or may not realize is that living in Europe, as amazing as it can be, can also be a nightmare. I was feeling extremely frustrated trying to deal with the adult type things that I must deal with, such as my bank account, my work schedule, paying rent, trying to have a more solid cell phone plan, even going to the grocery store, etc. all in another language and in a culture where they do things differently. It’s not all romance and roses.
Most people in the U.S. think of romance, beautiful castles and vineyards, and amazing history when they think of Europe. That all is extremely true, however, there are still people who live here like we do in the United States, and with that comes the same struggle of living the day to day life with the same frustrations. Believe me, I am very thankful to be here, and I am very happy and excited. However, I still feel the frustrations of every day life, and on top of that, I’m starting to go through culture shock, that feeling of feeling like I don’t fit it, that my place here isn’t quite right, that I don’t fully grasp my surroundings and daily life yet, and the uneasiness of not having a routine established yet. So, Tuesday, I just cried. I just bawled my eyes out. I just became overwhelmed with confusion, with missing home, and quite honestly, with fatigue. I haven’t quite established a good sleeping routine yet because I live in the same building as some young males who like to play dubstep at 1 in the morning a tad loudly.
So, I guess what I’m trying to communicate is that life is still hard, even though I’m on a new adventure in a beautiful place. The daily struggles are not canceled out just because I happen to be struggling in a beautiful place, speaking a beautiful language. Also, I miss home and everyone there dearly. When I Skyped with my mom Tuesday night (at 1 in the morning), I just cried because I miss her and miss feeling like I belong and miss feeling like I know what to do and where to go all the time. So, just keep that in mind. Traveling and living in another country are wonderful experiences, and I definitely recommend doing them both. However, it’s not all romance and roses. It’s not all sunshine and daises, my friends. Life is still life, no matter what part of the world you happen to be doing it in.