Hello world!

Okay, here goes nothing!

Hello and Bonjour to anyone out there who may come across this blog. I’ve never been into blogging or thought I would have one, but as I began the process of studying abroad in Paris, France, I began to think that my experiences and knowledge could possibly help others who might be like I was..Close to clueless. In making this blog, I hope to try to answer many of the questions I had, (and probably tried Google-ing) as I embarked on this awesome, but complicated journey.

I also wanted to start a blog just to document my experiences in my short time abroad. I usually write everything in a journal, but I figured this would be easier and allow my friends and family, or whoever, to read about my adventures, what I take away from them, and my ups and downs.
I just felt that this is the best way to preserve my memories while also having the possibility of pointing someone else in the right direction in their study abroad journey.

To say a little about myself: my name is Michelle Miller, I’m 21 years old, and I’m from Albuquerque, New Mexico. For those of you who might be unsure, yes, it’s in the United States. (I rarely encounter people who don’t know about New Mexico but I hear people on the other side of the country ask that question constantly.) I was born and raised in “The Burque” in The Land of Enchantment. The land of green chile, the land of Breaking Bad, which we FULLY embrace, and the land of the University of New Mexico Lobos. I’m in my third year at UNM, in the Anderson School of Management, and I’m concentrating in International Management, Marketing and a Minor in French.

I’m still living at home in the Northeast Heights with my awesome parents, my little sister, Maya and my adorable one and a half year old puppy, Luna. I have an older sister, Jessica, who lives on her own and works as a contractor for the Air Force. I have an amazing boyfriend, Julian who I’ve been with for just over four years now, and met in middle school! I went to Sandia high school, and when the time came my freshman year to choose a foreign language to learn, I went against the smart and practical choice of Spanish, and chose to take French class. I mean, in a state where the majority is Hispanic, and almost anyone who speaks another language speaks Spanish, who wouldn’t choose French? Anyway, at the time I thought it was the prettier of the two languages and I wanted to learn it. Well long story short, I enjoyed French and admired French culture, and I decided to continue studying after my second year, so I have now taken 4 full years in high school, and 4 semesters in college.

I also visited France in the summer of 2013 after my freshman year of college. I went with a cool tour group called Vistas in Education, and I spent one week with a super nice host family in a suburb of Paris and then spent the next with with other students through some awesome places around north western France and of course Paris, but that’s a a whole other entry for another day I think. Anyway, that experience was wonderful for me and I really fell in love with France and decided to keep working on it.

Even with all those French courses, there’s not all that many people to practice my French with in Albuquerque, and I have always been to shy to confidently speak it to anyone I could practice with..So, last spring, I decided that the only way that I can work on my French and hopefully become fluent is to amerce myself into the language and culture by studying abroad.

After making this realization, I hesitated to pursue it because I thought it was too expensive and I thought I didn’t really have the mental strength or personality for it, but it always was in the back of my mind. When I finally brought it up to my family and they all fully supported me, and everything has worked out but it hasn’t been easy, and along the way there were many times when I thought I was not going to end up getting to go. I’ve spent a lot of time before this, and before my other trip on Google searching for answers to many travel questions, French culture questions, and in my experiences have found out answers to questions I never even thought to ask, and that’s how I ended up here.. Hoping to help other prospective study abroad students or even just everyday travelers get through the difficult process of getting ready to go, and how to effectively survive your time abroad… If I can figure that out first!

So, with this blog, I am going to do my best to be informative and helpful while also just trying to record my experiences and the best and worst parts of my time in Paris, and hopefully someone will read it!

A bientôt and here we go,

Michelle

Oh, and a little tidbit on why I chose the name Roadrunner Abroad (for now).. Well obviously, (or maybe not obviously for anyone who isn’t familiar with New Mexico) the state bird of New Mexico is the Roadrunner. I’ve been struggling with coming up with a name for my blog ever since I decided to start it, and I really wanted to choose something that connected me, a proud New Mexican, and my experience studying abroad in Paris. I didn’t want it to be too corny like “Albuquerque Girl in a Big World” or “MichelleInParis.com” but something a little more clever. I was undecided even up to the moment I was signing up for my tumblr account! While I was registering, tumblr popped out a couple random silly blog names but one of them sparked my idea to use a roadrunner as a representation of myself. I thought about how my dad really likes birds and has a nickname for each one of his girls: My mom is his Blue Jay, my little sister is his Hummingbird, my big sister is his Falcon, and I’m his Roadrunner. Who would have thought that a month or two of failed efforts to think of a name that was cleverly connected to me could lead up to one single spark of an idea. Still toying around with the rest of the name, so it might change, but definitely want the Roadrunner in there.

Cheers!

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