Day 14


Utterly and unfairly terrible, is what I am, at consistently writing for 30 days. My challenge is to write positive things about each day. The outcome? Trying to catch up a week’s worth of positive posts in one night. Allyons-y.

Dy 14 and I vaguely remember cooking. I remember spending my time cooking curry chickpeas and it was absolutely delicious. I am really getting into this cooking thing. So one aspect of that day was having made delicious curry and rice.

OK, on to the next day because I surely forgot this day.

It is now 12:36 AM and I cannot sleep.

Day 13


Okay, Day 13. I vaguely remember this day. I believe I almost went to class and then did not. That was great because I absolutely dread the monotonous voice of the professor. As most Mondays, I like to do my grocery shopping which always feels great. There is no better feeling than a stocked fridge and a cookie-stocked room. Otherwise, I do not think I did much else. I guess I should just move on to the next day. Oops.

It is now 19:44.

À la prochaine!

Day 12


Day 12. Oh what did I do on this day? Something happy must have happened though. For posts like these, I will rather reflect on the experience on the whole. Something positive!

I am happy to have forced myself to leave the house more and get outside. I do not think I would really experience much if I were to only stay inside. I am surprised at how well I can plan trips but also be okay with not having everything planned. It was difficult at first, for me to not have everything planned. The main example being my trip to Morocco. Not every day was planned and we went through each day with how we were feeling. Despite there being some pretty awful moments, I felt more confident in going on trips without a huge set plan. This will come in handy for when I will be travelling on my own for the last few weeks of my exchange by myself. I hope to actually document when I go.

Okay, on to day 13.

It is now 11:54 AM.

Day 11


Day 11 post written on day 18. I am so far behind on my posts but believe me, I am still committed!

On this day, I went to Annecy. This beautiful tiny city is situated below Geneva, to the east of Lyon.

I packed my banana bread, bought a banette, and made my way to the bus station at 8 AM. My friend missed the bus and so off I went, seul. Though later he joined me. When I arrived, I wandered over to the lake and found the most pristinely blue body of water. Surrounded by mountains and trees, the air was chill, the christmas market stands were out, the raclette was melting. I visited my first castle there and I even met a group of filipino tourists. We slightly bonded over our shared origin and then off they went to continue their tour. Later that day we returned back to Lyon, had some dinner and met up with some more friends for drinks.

On the whole I had a great day. It was beautiful and relaxing. It was so easy to get out of the city that it makes me realize how much I need to get out more when I am in Vancouver with access to a car.

It is 11:22 AM, I’m off to write the next one.

Day 10


On to day 10. I am struggling to remember what happened on this day. For this reason, I need to better commit to writing these posts soon after the day is done.

As a quick note, these posts of mine are a continuation of my 30 Days of Happiness Challenge where I try to write something positive about my day everyday. The origin of this challenge of mine developed from my seriously negative view of the city. My experience in France is quite all over the place, but I am trying to really appreciate this more as it definitely is such a privilege to be able to do what I am doing.

Day 10.

I walked into my Politics and Identity class and found only one other girl there. For a slight moment, she thought I was French as we struggled to understand why were the only people there. I was feeling really french right then and there. It felt great.

Later that day my friend Sarah came over and we made banana bread. It was absolutely delicious. I also made pasta for dinner for us and then my host mom, Danielle and her ex-husband, Gerard, joined us. They loved my cooking and our baking and I just felt like a mom as I fed all these people. It is a great feeling to be complimented on being able to cook. After eating, we started talking about the American elections. Surprise, surprise. The topic of Trump never ceases to be a great conversation starter. At first, I was able to keep up with Gerard’s strong opinions on Trump, though later he started to speak much faster. It is definitely too bad that I could not keep up with the conversation in French very well because I really did want to participate! There will be plenty more opportunities though so I can always try again another time. I am so grateful to live in my homestay as they do not speak in English and so I am always forced to practice my French. I am super happy to have made the decision to live with a french family because I lucked out in my placement. Danielle, my homestay mom, is the nicest woman ever and she has made me feel so safe in the city.

Anyway, it is now 5:30 PM.

Time to seize the day or something.

Day 9


In continuation of this positivity challenge of mine, I am finally updating. This challenge would likely be better if I updated in realtime. However, with the constraints of my obviously busy schedule, I may continue to fall short. Jokes.

Day 9.

On this day, I attended class. That action in itself is great because I find it difficult for me to show up to classes here. My lack of motivation here is slightly concerning as this is definitely not a problem for me back at home. After my British Literature class on The Winter’s Tale, I participated in a friend’s atelier and met new people. It is always a great day when meeting new people. One of them was this french boy who is studying economics. I believe he comes from a town close to Paris. I forget his name but it was interesting, the way he talked about the mayor of his city as the mayor resembles Trump. There is always talk of Trump around here (and probably everywhere) and so this guy told us how their new mayor distributes racist propaganda around the city. These flyers would present anti-immigration sentiments and phrases and awful words. I wish I could remember the name of the city to show an example. Maybe in another blog post I will have found it. On a lighter note, this econ major also talked about the most amazing falafel restaurant called YAAFA. It stands for “You Are A Falafel Addict”. It truly does make one a falafel addict as their recipe for falafels is satisfying. Our bond over delicious food made day 9 a cloud 9 day.

It is 4:44 PM.

À la prochaine!

Day 8

I AM CAUGHT UP. Today is actually day 8, or what is left of it.


My Happiness Challenge continues. In my challenge I try to write something positive about my day, each day, for thirty days. I started this challenge last week as a way to step out of my negative feelings. As good as it felt to stay in my bed and bask in my homesickness, it feels even better to be excited and happy about exchange life. This entire experience so far has been filled with a clusterfuck of emotions that continue to surprise me.

Today, I went to my politique comparée class and I was able to follow her. Thank goodness the slides that my professor gives us are amazingly comprehensive. I am also happy to have attended the two ateliers in a row today. It is always fun meeting new people and talking to both the french and other english speakers. I love hearing about their experiences in the city and their perspectives of the world. I am happy to have been able to share stories with them.

Oh goodness, it is almost 23:00 and I need to go to sleep. Tomorrow will be more elaborate. I should hope so at least!

Peace and love,

à la prochaine.

Day 7

I am so close to catching up.

Bonjour, Salut by the way.

It is technically, right now, day 8 and I have been writing posts for day’s 5- now for the past hour.

So, on va continuer this happiness challenge. We all could use a little bit of positive thinking for this dreary November.

Day seven was great. I went to class and that is something to be proud of as it is not an easy feat to commute to Bron. If I have not mentioned before, the university I attend in Lyon consists of two campuses, Campus Porte des Alpes and Campus Berges du Rhone. One campus, is smaller and is located at about a 15 minute walk from where I live and the other, is about a 40 minute to one hour commute by train and tram. Comparatively, this is not so bad as my commute back in B.C. from Richmond to UBC is about a 1 and a half hour ride each way by bus, train, and bus again. So, it really is not as bad here in Lyon as it is in Vancouver.


I went to my one class in anthropology. Despite not really understanding anything, I think I am doing fairly well for someone who has never taken a course on anthropology before, nor any social science courses in French. So gg, good game.

Yesterday was also filled with catching up on my ateliers de conversation en anglais which are courses that I lead in speaking english for students who are learning the language. So far no one has attended any of my classes and this week is the last week. It is all good though because I have made wonderful friends by joining the ateliers of other anglophones holding their ateliers.

Also, I had crêpes and went to bed at 20:30. I could not have had a better day.

et finalement, on to the next day. It is now 22:41.

À la prochaine!

Day 6


In continuation of my Happiness Challenge, I need to think of something positive that happened on this day. I am writing this from the future so I have to think back to Monday, November 14th and remember what I did that day.

On Monday, I was happy to have found a really interesting tea place with a friend, Everett, in Croix-Rousse. This place is an interesting part of Lyon. For the entire month of October, this neighbourhood held a carnival. Anyway, the tea house we went to had an incredible amount of options. I played it safe with some Jasmin tea but I probably should have branched out. Anyway, this tea place possessed a beautiful lounge area on the second floor which we only found out about after finishing our tea. So, if you ever find yourself in this tea place by the Croix-paquet station, look up!

Later that day, I was meant to go to class. A lecture on tragi-comedy? Sounds inviting. In retrospect, I would have definitely benefited going as I try to write my paper on The Winter’s Tale now. However, I thought to myself, I cannot survive this cold. That thought in itself is true to a winter’s tale.

This thought process lead me to Part-Dieu, the mall with an uncomfortable amount of people inside. I was happy to have found a new winter coat, boots, and gloves. Now I definitely cannot complain about the cold. I should be fairly set now as winter is coming. One would think that someone from Canada could bear this temperature. I find the weather here much similar to Vancouver’s weather, and there is less rain in Lyon too. However, I am still uncomfortable with any chill. One could even say that I have no chill. All (terrible) jokes aside, the weather here is good, the day was good, it’s all good. All in all, I was happy to have grounded myself back to Lyon after last week’s episode marathon of homesickness.

It is now 10:07 PM, or dare I say 22:07.

À la prochaine!

Day 5


Ah okay so, I am catching up on my Happiness Challenge and today is most definitely not Day 5. Oh the tardiness. One thing to be happy about my late posts is that I get to relive my days as I try to recall them.

Day 5 of my Happiness Challenge fell on my last day in Paris. Initially, Jenn and I had plans to visit le Chateaû de Versailles. This did not occur as we had not yet visited L’Arc de Triomphe. We started the day with a visit to La Musée de l’armée. This museum was surprisingly amazing. Firstly, we visited the tomb of Napoleon. The signs leading up to his tomb had been frustratingly difficult to follow. He lies under the most beautiful paintings though. Next, we found a section of the museum dedicated to WWI and WWII. The exhibition was very comprehensive. The first and second world war were presented in chronological order, with every section of the room/floor being a new year. The entire exhibition took up maybe three or four floors. The presentation of events was engaging and I loved the amount of benches provided in that museum. It seemed as if they knew I was coming and so clearly they were prepared for constantly tired tourists.

After, we walked towards the Eiffel Tower. We took it in, felt good, and then continued on with our day. I guess I found it more beautiful at night? More likely, I was hungry. We found a Casino (supermarket) and bought some two euro sandwiches. A sandwich was all I needed to satisfy me. That was another happy moment of the day, purchasing cheap food that did not make me sick. As we finished with our food, we finally visited L’arc de triomphe. Surprisingly, french residents can walk up the arc for free? I showed the administrators my visa and voila, I was up there. The view of the city, even in the cold, was absolutely spectacular. I could not even think about how cold I was because I was just in awe of how vast the city is. It was such a nice moment and I would most definitely revisit the place.

Quickly, the day was ending and it was time to return to Lyon. I am so grateful to have spent time with Jenn and Karen during the weekend. I seriously needed to get out of the house and see familiar faces. Thus, not only was I happy with this day, I was happy with the entire weekend.

Okay, it is now 9:35 PM. On to the next day!