Monday, May 4, 2009

Spring is Here

So, I know I need to continue on with the saga of what happened in London, and furthermore, what's gone on here in France since I arrived three months ago, but sometimes it's hard to leave the present.

Spring has come to Serre Chevalier valley, and after a weekend picnicking in the mountain meadows with my host family and exploring the freshly-melted white water ravines in the forest drop off behind our garden, all I can do is wistfully look forward to Thursday afternoon, when I'll start my journey back to Florida for a three week visit to see my family and friends and to introduce James to all the places I miss and love back home.

I've got a challenging summer ahead of me, but today I'm feeling optimistic.  I'm going to spend three weeks in Florida, then head back to London for a few days to visit my friends and co-workers, and take a look at a few university campuses, then I'm off to Paris, most likely (though Amsterdam, Prague, Nice, and Barcelona are still on the list) to attempt to find some hostel work and experience the city for two weeks.

Hostel work is usually unpaid, but if I can find free lodging and maybe a free meal or two a day, I'll be happy.  I suppose I can always look for bar work too, but my research has me leaning toward hostels as the most ideal environment.

After that, I'm taking a week in Spain to try my hand at teaching English at an English immersion camp called Pueblo Ingles in a tiny medieval village off of Madrid.  I'll probably get into Madrid on Wednesday or Thursday of the week prior to meet my little group at a free dinner in a Flamenco bar, then catch the bus to our village, Vladelavilla, on Friday morning.

This will be particularly useful to me, since ESL is the next career step I'm considering.  So, hopefully my week in Spain will show me whether or not I've got what it takes.

I'll be back in France after that (with maybe another short reprieve to England for James' birthday), for the last six weeks of summer.  It's a piecework plan that will most likely be followed by a month of classes in London or Oxford to certify me to teach English abroad, and after that, who knows.

It's the first time in my life I don't feel like I have a solid plan.  I've been swinging back and forth between terrified/anxious and kinda looking forward to the whole thing.  This morning, I feel pretty good about it.  Reading it back, I know I sound like a crazy person, but I think it'll be okay.

And who'd have thunk I'd miss Florida so much.  I really am looking forward to a nice, relaxing three weeks back home.  Maybe I'll even nip over to UCF and have a nap in the lawn facing the reflection pond ...

Just for old times' sake.