As I write this post, I’m sitting on the plane on my way back from London Heathrow to Paris Orly airport. A week into my year abroad and already back home for a visit, you may ask? Well no. It wasn’t exactly a fun-filled visit or one that I had previously intended to make. I suddenly had to make the journey back home to the UK on Wednesday evening as my family and I learnt the tragic news that my cousin had passed away at just 19 years old. I didn’t really like the idea of staying in Paris alone, still homeless (more on that in a bit), especially at this difficult time, so I followed them on their journey back.
As I mentioned already, my cousin was 19 years old, a university student whose life was cut short. With just 14 months between us, I struggle to remember a time where I never knew him. When we were younger and he visited, we often fought. I still remember this one time when I was probably around 5 years old and he and his brother had come to stay and we had a fight over something probably very petty and I stormed off to my toy room. He followed me and patted me on the shoulder, softly saying ‘Sorry Aisha.’ I reminded him of this moment earlier this year; he didn’t remember it. But it’s just one of the many memories I have of him and shall treasure, along with his jokes, his great sense of humour, and most of all his huge smile.
This unfortunate news, coupled with the stress I’ve been under trying to find accommodation in Paris haven’t made a great start for my year abroad. The difficulty in finding accommodation isn’t something your lecturers really warn you about or help you with when you’re making the choice to go on a year abroad. I have found it so difficult to find somewhere to live in a Paris. With people not replying to my emails and landlords demanding a guarantor based in France or ridiculously high deposits, there were times when I genuinely thought finding accommodation was an impossible task. However at the moment, it looks like I may have found a studio at a student accommodation complex so fingers crossed.
But nonetheless, as I sit on this plane, I have an amazing week to look forward to and hopefully, it shall lift my spirits. Tomorrow, I’m off to the Ile de Re, a small island off the west coast of France as part of my internship. There, I will be assisting on a photo shoot for a week for a UK catalogue client (I’m not sure if I’m allowed to disclose the clients name), but anyways, I’m guessing it will be lots of fun and the weather looks great with temperatures in the mid to high twenties.
I’m about to land now, but my next update should be while in Ile de France!
Earlier in the week playing tourists with my family