Bye University, Bonjour France!

 

One great thing about attending university is the access that it provides to a plethora of opportunities, while you are a student.

The paper-society that we have constructed frustrates me. Yes, yes, the same one that I have endorsed by investing years of my life in pursuit of a degree in Communications- before that Ecology. However, in as much as I am in this environment, I’ve decided to take advantage of the opportunities presented to me. Last year I lived in Quebec while on a student exchange there and this year, well, read on some more to find out why I am where I am!

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I may not be out on the ocean teaching sailing, scuba diving or marine biology and conservation. Yet, I have found that I can access and develop other interests of mine. I can get an unconventional education.

In 2013, I began university, then promptly left after one semester. In 2015, I began again. A new course, new country, new environment. I stuck with it. It is 2017, almost the end of 2017 and I’m still enrolled. YAY ME!

If you caught onto me saying “enrolled” and not “attending”, good job! I’m no longer at university. I’ve taken a leave of absence.

I’m writing to you from Strasbourg, France.

Yup, I’ve left university (I’ll be back…supposedly) to sit on the other side of the desk.

I’m an English language assistant now. I teach English to French high school students. This is a job that I was able to get through being a university student, as well as a Trinidadian.

While I initially took this job as a way to explore some more and to escape Trinidad for a little longer, I am beginning to find a deep connection with some of my most recent experiences.

Lots of things have changed, evolved, developed from my last two posts to now.

Firstly, I sold my sailboat. My pride and joy, my little piece of freedom. My tool for adventure. I sold her. After exactly one decade of racing, lessons, fun days, dates, summer camps, and maintenance, I’ve passed her onto a pair of sisters who I am sure will have a truly wonderful learning experience with her.

At the same time, I have exposed a part of my being. A lover of the sea, a girl who grew up with her boat, is now without a boat. Specifically, without one that is serving my needs. The 420 was no longer serving my needs. I want a new boat- new to me, one that I can live aboard, one that I can sail up and down the islands on. One that I can make my home. Something that is small, practically sized, something that I can grow up a bit with. I’ve released the dinghy and now I have to make the next step a reality.

I had a series of visits to a park swing that eventually created a space for growth and acceptance over my summer vacation. I experienced the death of someone I cared for and rekindled a connection with an old friend. A park swing was central to those experiences. You can read about that experience here.

I developed my own brand and began making macramé pieces. I initially learned this art form at a workshop in my second to last home, Les Échelles Collective. Then I spent many hours on Youtube and with my cords, practising knots, patterns and designs. Eventually, the people wanted my product so I started selling! I still have some pieces in stock in Trinidad. Check out @kaicaraibestt on Instagram, to see my work.

I surfedddd!!!! In my last week in Trinidad, I had two days of surfing with my awesome big cousin/older brother/ soul buddy Richard. We surfed the swell from the hurricanes José and Maria before they went further North and destroyed some of my Caribbean islands. The surfing was extremely rewarding. It made my body hurt in the way that it feels good to hurt. On the second day of surfing, I took a brief break from getting beaten up in the swell to sit alone on the sand. I felt to meditate and so I did. I cannot effectively explain the feeling of peace and unity that flow through me. Coconut trees above me, solid sand beneath me, the ocean in front of me. I felt that ‘oneness’ that I often seek. That peace that so many of us seek daily.

I made love, love, love, love, love to somebody that I care so much about. Someone who I have shared my happiest moment in life with (two years ago). I reconnected, in person with a being who paints with a complementary colour to me. We’re back in our respective corners of the globe now but it was amazing to access another part of our friendship. Being able to hold hands, breathe the same air and look directly into this person’s eyes was such a gift! I believe that airports, ports, train & bus stations see the expressions of love that we so often wish that we shared more of at the time of funerals.

My French and dedication to studying French have been given a new lease. I’m working hard to become more efficient and effective at using my second language. Gosh! It feels good to say that. haha! I am also spending time helping other people to learn another language and that is extremely rewarding.

I’m looking forward to sharing and sharing frequently, my adventures in France, and EUROPE. Also, in the past I made a notice saying that I was going to start vlogging, this is still the longterm goal. However, I’m going to be starting another blog. It will focus on making traveling possible as a student. (Affordable, Educating, Interactive) Students of life but also university and secondary school students. I have made travelling and exploring the world possible for me while being a student. I have done it mostly without funding from my parents. I am often asked about my ability to travel and how others can make it possible for themselves. I’ll be sharing the ways that you can get onto the road too. More will be disclosed closer to the launch date. I promise that it will be a well of knowledge.

(Big, bIG, BIG, step for me!)

Are you looking forward to reading more about the intricacies of my VIE DE FRANCE?!

That’s all for now!
Rushell

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2 thoughts on “Bye University, Bonjour France!

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