Adventure, Ambition, and a Linguistic Switch

The title says it all – my days left in Alaska are down to five! In five days, I depart the United States yet again, headed for weeks of outdoor adventure in Norway and Switzerland. Finally reuniting with my beloved host family from years ago, we will kayak amidst the epic northern islands of Lofoten, then venture into the Zermatt region of the Swiss alps.

From there, I’m on my own, taking a train to Paris, my new home for this school year. There, I have one primary goal, fluency, which is somewhat daunting considering the complexity of the language and the abundance of English-speakers. With this linguistic challenge so rapidly approaching, I think back to my departure to Norway for inspiration, contemplating the events that led up to essentially forgetting the English language. A few things gave me a huge advantage at the time, such as living with a local family and attending local school, but hopefully lacking these things won’t be a huge problem. One thing stands out the most from that time, and that is the phrase bare norsk. No matter how tired I was, no matter how confused, frustrated, helpless or embarrassed, no matter how badly I struggled for words or wished to explain something in better detail – bare norsk, only norwegian. So, to the next year of my life, I have only two words, which I have every intention of implementing to the ultimate extent: Seulement Français!

Et voila, je n’écriverai plus en anglais si je n’écrive pas aussi en français.  Pour vous qui parlez pas français, je suis désolée, mais j’ai besoin d’atteindre mon objectif, et je le ferai avec détermination.  J’ai changé mon clavier à français.  J’ai changé mon Facebook à Français.  J’emporterai seulement un livre français dans mon voyage.  Pas plus d’anglais… et si j’écris dans ce blog, on peut voir aussi mon progrès.  J’attends ce défi avec impatience :)

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