A Clarinetist in Paris

One month to go! (and my visa story)


This time exactly one month from now, I will be aboard an airplane en route to Paris! (with a few inconvenient and long layovers; at least I can say I’ve visited Iceland!) It seems so surreal that it’s finally happening.

The past few months have been a whirlwind of planning and organizing every detail, which included a super last-minute visa appointment in Atlanta. Word of advice for any visa-hopefuls: START EARLY! I know that you’ve probably read that in every visa guide, but I cannot stress this enough (pun intended). I had my documents together for my consulate appointment, and when my Campus France application was FINALLY processed, I checked the French consulate in Atlanta for appointments and……….nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Cue mild panic attack, remind self that I’ve fared worse trying to get an easy gen-ed class in college, refresh screen repeatedly throughout the day, when finally it happens around 5PM on Tuesday – an appointment opens up….for 8AM Thursday in Atlanta.  I add final touches to the millions of documents that need to be presented at the appointment, go to FedEx to get the return envelope, make copies of all my documents, and run on adrenaline and caffeine Tuesday night and Wednesday as I make the five-hour drive to Atlanta. My mom met me in Atlanta, which was a blessing since she knows the town like the back of her hand and took me to where I needed to go (and also because I’m not the best with geography to begin with, but especially when I’m under stress). All that stress for a fifteen-minute appointment. Long story short, I got my visa in the mail last week, and all is good. But boy, were those a few stressful days for me!

As an incredibly type-A person, I have planned every single detail of my time in Paris. I’ve checked for credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, looked up cheap international phone plans, downloaded apps of the Paris RATP, copied addresses of all pertinent locations, etc etc etc. I might as well enjoy being type-A for the month I have left in America, because from everything I’ve been told and read about, this ain’t gonna fly in Paris. Instead of rushing from one thing to the next (Starbucks nonfat iced coffee in one hand, iPhone in the other), I’m anxious excited to see how this type-A neat freak will manage in Paris. I’m definitely going to have an interesting adjustment period, and my time abroad will definitely be a learning experience. Here’s to joie de vivre!

One Comment

  • Gary Winder

    Jenny…yes Paris will be an adjustment….def.seems to be a place where there is no sense of urgency.

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