A few France resources I want to share:
Blablacar - how Nico and I found our rides between Paris and Saint Malo last week. WAY cheaper than the train, and your driver might even introduce you to a new band you instantly fall in love with.
Easy Jet - the cheapest flights in Europe, although certainly not the most comfortable. I was very annoyed that my purse counted as a second carry-on item and I had to prove that I could stuff it into my duffel bag to board the plane. They also have a nice app for iPhone
Dernier Bar avant la Fin du Monde - this is the only place in France so far that's felt nerdy to me, and I loved it. A must-visit for any and all nerds in Paris.
I took a trip at the end of October to my first ever French comics festival - Quai des Bulles in Saint Malo! It was an incredible trip. I was floored by the level of talent I saw at the festival, and delighted by features I've never seen at a show before, like in-festival childcare. Old, young, and families alike. A much more serious, grown-up attitude than you feel at comics conventions in the US. No cat ears or cardboard swords in sight, and only one vendor with toys--the show was mostly a long tent full of comic books and artists signing those comic books.
I know one thing for certain: I want my next place to have a guest room so I can pay all this forward!
I keep stopping and thinking to myself how happy I am to be here, doing this. It's hard sometimes...people think I'm a humorless idiot because I don't speak their language well. Cooking and driving are so different that I am basically back at square one with them both. I try hard but I make a lot of mistakes at my job. I get homesick and really lonely. I don't have my old comforts to ease the bad days. But being here has already been so rewarding...I think I'm learning new skills and things about myself I wouldn't have if I had stayed home this year. Even the things I thought I knew--I'm seeing them from another perspective and deepening my understanding. I've had to face fears and realities I was able to run away from at home. I've discovered beautiful things and wonderful people I didn't know existed. I believe my life will be better going forward from here, having had these experiences. And if I get hit by a crazy French country driver tomorrow and bleed out in a ravine next to a field of cow pies, I'll still be really glad that I came here. This is the most alive I've felt in a long time.