Sorry for the brief hiatus; I’ve been dealing with a minor visa fiasco. After about two months and three weeks of traveling through Schengen Zone countries (most of the European Union and Switzerland), I learned that I was only allowed to spend three months in Schengen countries without a visa. Since I am studying in France, I assumed it would be easy for me to get a student visa. However it turned out to not be that simple. Although I am eligible for a student visa, I was informed that one could only be granted from my home country. Since I was already in France, this seemed rather silly. With my deadline to leave Schengen Europe rapidly approaching, a friend and I embarked on a crazy one day road-trip through France and Switzerland begging everyone from the local marie (townhall) and prefecture to the French consulate in Geneva for an exemption that would let me stay in France without having to return to the US. We were rejected at every turn, and it was clear the only thing left for me to do was leave Europe… and fast. After some quick goodbyes to my friends in Chamonix, I got on a plane and headed back home.
The whole thing was rather surreal. I went from thinking I was going to spend the winter living in Chamonix to being on a plane headed back to the US in a matter of days. I also had one of the worst colds I’ve had in awhile and the jet-lag and cold medicine induced haze that I arrived home in didn’t help the strangeness of it all. Although I had very mixed feelings about having to return home, it’s been good to be back. I’ve spent the past two weeks getting my student visa, watching Hulu, catching up with friends and family, and stocking up on vegan food at Whole Foods.
Monday I’m heading back to Chamonix, and once again I have mixed feelings about leaving. I’m excited to get back to my friends in Chamonix and to studying French and skiing, but seeing my friends here made me realize just how much I miss them.