august —

Lol, I know that it’s September. I meant to sit down and write about August during the actual month, but now it’s too late and it’s September and I haven’t written a blog post in 8 months and I’m rusty.

Two weeks ago I started my senior year. Senior year.

That’s not a casual sentence, not now, not ever. I am honestly still in disbelief, and expect to wake up in elementary school on a regular basis. I wish I could, because back then my biggest issues were whether or not I could get the LEGO set I was really wanting. (To answer, yes I had all of the Harry Potter LEGOs and most of the Star Wars LEGOS and no friends.)

But, August just ended. My fourth August since beginning college. I feel like such an adult. I’m old. In the words of Lindsey Lohan/Jamie Lee Curtis in Freak Friday, “I’m like the cyrpt-keeper!”

Ok, but actually August has always been such an important 31 days for me. Since starting college I’ve had almost all of my major life events occur during the month of August.

Quick note: It is currently 11:36, I’m drinking a glass of “Midnight Red” aka a Red wine Bota Box blend (because I am a creature of elegance), and avoiding doing reading for my French Lit class, so I would like to apologize in advance for whatever word vomit may occur at any moment before or after this disclosure. Thank you for your time and enjoy your ride.

So let’s take it way back.

Let’s go baaaaack,

Back to the beginning

-Hillary Duff

August 2012:

HOLY. That was so long ago??? This was the very beginning of my college experience. I was such a young buck! Didn’t know a thing about myself, about life, about the world. Not that I really do now, but I like to pretend that I’m more enlightened.

Moving into Reese Hall was the beginning of an adventure with some of my best friends from high school learning to navigate life on our own. I almost always attribute “theme words” to each season of my life, and without a doubt the word for my fall Freshman year was independence. 

I had never experienced independence until college. Not really. My parents were always so supportive of me and would let me do most things, but I never was the sole decision-maker on an every day basis. So what if I wanted to eat PCB pizza for every meal? And yeah, I’ll spend my free time hammocking next to the art building thanks.

That August was just so important, because my life grew into a huge world of possibilities.

August 2013:

So this was maybe the scariest month of my life? But also the most incredible. On the first Friday of August 2013, I posted my very first blog post on this lil’ site.

My “introduction” as I so astutely labeled my announcement that, “Hey I’m gay,” was something I never thought would happen. Like, honestly, prior to actually coming out of the closet I was happily under the impression that I would eventually turn straight and this little phase of mine would all be put behind me one day.

BUT NOPE. God said, “Hey, I want your life to be a little bit more interesting,” and then I was openly gay and everything changed.

Sort of. I had already told the majority of my close friends that I was gay, so it was really just alerting the masses, and allowing people to judge me however they felt fit.

My word for that season was freedom. Finally, finally, I didn’t have to worry about hiding myself to the world. I could openly talk about my experiences, my struggles, my romantic interests, and my day-to-day life without fear of people suddenly discovering my sexuality before I was ready to share.

August 2014:

I was under the false impression that coming out of the closet the prior year would be the most life-changing experience I would go through in college.

HAHA NOPE. Once again, my plans for my life were utterly obliterated by God’s plan.

Initially, my plan was that on August 24th, 2014 I would be boarding a plane with two of my best friends and jetting off for a semester abroad in Paris. PARIS.

(To this day I think of my time abroad on a daily basis and miss the people I got to know. They’ve become such monumentally important humans to me that if you ever see me and I look sad you can probably assume that I’m thinking about Paris and it’s casual but my heart breaks for my four months there NBD.)

But the days leading up to my flight I was sick, and began to experience chest pain. Heart attack at age 20?

Honestly not surprised necessarily (because my life is just like that), but it was like… plz no, @God?

I ended up being admitted to the hospital the day before my plane left and that time in the hospital was when God beginning stirring in my heart. That’s when I first started to doubt my major, to think “Doctor…. Doctor… Doctor…”

Four and a half months later I switched my major (largely in part to a popular TV show but I’ll write about that some other time) and now I’m definitely set on going to med school and becoming a physician.


August 2015:

This past month may not have had the large, distinguishable events that have made the past Augusts so mind-blowing, but it was a wonderful and important month.

After finishing my Organic Chemistry class, starting my fourth year at UT (I’m graduating late so no fireworks yet), getting my first letter of recommendation for med school, getting my first shadowing position lined up, etc. I’m just sitting at my desk now with my mouth wide open.

I am encouraged and affirmed in my decision to go Pre-Med after this month. It’s hard not to recognize that God is working FAR ahead of me, and it’s been the coolest. Being a pre-med student is probably the worst major, in my opinion. Every single one of my peers is chasing the same goal, and so many of them feel aggressively more qualified than me, but I have to continue to just move forward and do my own thing.

I guess I just really wanted to look back and reflect on how far I’ve come in college. I’m thankful for all of the experiences I’ve had, all of the lessons I’ve learned, all the people I’ve known. I wouldn’t be who I am without the love and support of my friends + family. Seriously, y’all rule.


Was it worth the wait? Waiting for my Pulitzer Prize eagerly in the mail.



For comments or inquiries please e-mail me at brycelbeyer@gmail.com, and follow me on Instagram at @brycelandes


new year, new me —

Artist: LANY
Song: “BRB”

Eight days into the new year, and my, oh my, how things have changed in my life.

It’s been just about three weeks since I officially left the city that stole my heart. A day hasn’t gone by since leaving that I haven’t missed the people I’ve met there, or the city of lights. In the wake of the terrorist attacks on Wednesday, I’ve found my heart aching for Paris.

Sadly, time is continuing to move forward, insisting that I remain in the present rather than living in the past. That’s easier said than done, but there have been too many exciting changes in my life over the past couple of days to not leave me excited.

I’ve made a big change in my college career. Second semester of my junior year, and I’ve decided to change my major. Again.

Let’s take a step back together so I can walk you through my thought process and the emotions that have lead me here.

To start, I think we need to go way back to the beginning of sophomore year. Just about when I started this blog! At that point in time, I had switched from Pre-Dental to Marketing, and then to Public Relations all in the span of about a month. I was so thrilled about my change from hard science classes to super interesting (and kind of easy) communication classes. At that point, I was also over taking Spanish classes and decided I wanted to start fresh with French. Honestly, mistake (or blessing) number one was when I decided to take Elementary French 1.

Throughout my sophomore year, I had a blast. It was honestly one of the more fun years of my life. I made new friends, grew more confident in myself, and wouldn’t change those for anything. But I also made mistakes, and near the end of the spring I found myself pretty bummed. I wasn’t incredibly passionate about any of the 6 classes I took last spring, except French. Even classes that were pre-requisites to my major weren’t exciting. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I decided to just push through until the first classes that were actually dedicated to my major.

During the spring, however, I was also in the middle of working on my application and all the documents necessary for my time abroad. I was excited about Paris, and in order to feel more prepared linguistically, I decided to take an intensive French course that would cover two entire semesters of French in four weeks time.

Those four weeks were incredibly exhausting due to school, work, and a social life, but I found myself continuously excited to go to my French class and continue to learn more. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I figured I might as well add a second minor to my Public Relations major and Business Administration minor. A major and two minors?! Look how hardworking and dedicated to learning I was!

So the week before I was supposed to leave for Paris, I found myself ridiculously anxious as I was trying to pack for four months of unknown adventures. Along with that I was sick. But it was fine, because I knew I was in control of my life, ya know?

Then August 23rd, 2014, I went to the ER with intense chest pains. As I’ve explained, I had a case of myocarditis that affected my left ventricle; despite the delay of my transatlantic flight, this was a sweet time with my family and a shift back to God that I needed before going abroad. However, God was planting much deeper seeds at this time than I realized.

When I finally made it abroad, I had a lot of expectations. With any life event, it’s natural to have big expectations, though not always healthy. I thought I would become much more interested and involved in the fashion industry. Whether I was going to try find an internship, merely standing outside during Paris Fashion Week and trying to spot celebrities, or just shopping until I was poor (spoiler, I was poor LITERALLY the entire semester). Because I wanted to go into fashion PR, and those seemed like the best avenues for me to enhance my major and future career.

But throughout the semester I found myself caring less and less about the fashion aspect of my time abroad. Maybe it was teachers who didn’t instill creativity, my own laziness, or my lack of money (honestly I’m still broke from this semester), but fashion PR was becoming less and less enticing.

As I got back to the States and looked to the upcoming semester, I felt completely lost. I knew I wouldn’t want to go into the fashion industry any longer, but I felt completely insecure making a decision about which direction to go. One day, I was sitting and talking with my parents and voicing my fears. I was throwing some different potential industries around and I mentioned the words “medical school” jokingly (but sort of not).

My mom asked if the medical field was really something I was interested in, and I laughed off the possibility of a completely new profession. Medicine? Me? That wasn’t even possible.

However, her question kept me thinking. Maybe I was supposed to look more in depth into this field. So over the next couple of days I took time for myself and with God to look into this possible switch in majors and careers. It wasn’t going to be easy, and it wasn’t going to occur quickly, but it didn’t seem out of the question.

This past week I had my check-up cardiologist appointment to see if there was any lasting damage from my myocarditis in August. With complete joy I can say that I have been cleared completely, and that my heart is functioning at full capacity; there is no lasting damage to the heart tissue and I am able to go off the medicine that regulated my heart rhythm. While my mom and I were at the hospital, we talked with my cardiologist about medical school, and I mentioned that it was a direction I was thinking about going. I don’t know what I was expecting, but his response far exceeded it.

He told me that he could tell I was smart, and that I could do the workload. He told me that just as importantly, I seemed like a people person and that along with my brain would help me make me a great doctor. Sign number one from the big guy upstairs.

I left the hospital excited, but also confused. Was this really something I was supposed to do? My classes started the next day, and I was considering completely changing my schedule and major. Was that the smart thing to do? It probably wasn’t, and even after doing it, I’m sure it wasn’t the “smart” thing to do. But God never asked us to be smart; He asked us to trust Him.

On Tuesday, after talking with my mom, my grandma, friends, etc., I decided to officially switch my major to French & Francophone Studies and Pre-Med. After my time in Paris I can’t imagine focusing on anything other than French. It was easily one of the most impactful parts of being abroad, and I can’t imagine changing that for anything. On top of my love for languages, I’ve always been drawn to medicine; my mom is a nurse and I’ve always admired her dedication and love for such a selfless job, and it has made me want to help others. With those two concentrations, I’ll have opportunities to help people in need (hopefully) around the world.

I’m so excited; I’m so scared. This is probably that most scared I’ve been about doing something in two years. It’s easily the scariest thing I’ve done since entering college (besides coming out cause that was hella scary). Because what I’m doing is insane. I realize that; I understand that my switch this late into school is wild. Some may even say that I’m making a mistake because it’s so late into my four years.

But the thing is I don’t see it that way. I don’t think that I’m making a mistake. I absolutely understand that my switch may seem absurd. It’s so close to the expected four years of graduation that changing now will set me back some. But I think this has been God’s plan all along. I started as Pre-Dental, and I enjoyed the science and math aspects of the major, but I didn’t feel like I could impact people in a significant way with that specific focus. So I decided to change majors to something that was “more fitting to my abilities.” I really do enjoying learning about communication and public relations. I think it’s they are both interesting subjects to learn about, but they aren’t things that I want to dedicate my life and career to. It took me a year to realize it, but I’m so glad I realized it now instead of ten years down the road.

I think the coolest thing about this switch is that I’m completely out of control. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved being in control. Whether it was being the leader during games as a child, or making my group of friends go to a certain place as a high schooler, I’ve prided myself in my ability to control situations (even if it’s just in my head).

I think I felt drawn to Public Relations because it would allow me to be self-sufficient. It was a major that I felt I could do well at, and it was my choice to do so. I could basically do well all on my own. And on top of that I could do well all on my own in four years; I was the textbook college student!

God loves putting me in situations that I don’t enjoy. He loves pushing me to embrace His sovereignty over my life in the most frustrating ways. By pushing me to change to French as my major, with Pre-Med, God knew that I would have to trust Him. Literally I was changing classes around at 11:00 pm the night before classes were starting, and of course I couldn’t get into the science courses I needed right away; another way in which I was forced to trust God. Classes were starting, and I was making the big switch to this major I feel such a massive draw to, and there were no openings in the classes I needed.

God always opens doors for His plans. I checked the registration website on Wednesday afternoon and was able to enroll in the Chemistry class I needed (with the most highly recommended lecturer), and yesterday I was able to get into the first Physics class I needed to enroll in this semester. It seemed like such an impossibility, but God goes before us. He always has paved the way before us. I’ve seen that so concretely over the past couple of days, and it’s humbling and beautiful.

I’m scared; I’m still completely terrified by the decision I’ve made. But I know this choice wasn’t put on my heart lightly, because I’ve thought about French and medicine for an extended period of time. I can hear God asking me to take a step towards Him in faith.

Faith is incredibly scary, because in faith we are asked to completely trust our life with a being we cannot see. We can feel Him and the ways that He leads us, but we’ve never met Him. Sometimes I wonder if people think I’m crazy for relying so heavily on God’s leadership. And then I always hear God say, “Bryce, trust me.”

That’s what I’ve been hearing over the past couple of days. “Bryce, trust me.” Trust. That’s all He’s asking for that from me right now; just open arms and steps towards his voice.

So I trust. Because that’s all I know how to do right now. I’m still completely and utterly scared by the direction my life is going; even as I’m writing this my hands are shaking. But I’m also beyond excited, so I trust.

To a God who knows infinitely better than I,

– B

For comments & inquiries, please e-mail me at brycelbeyer@gmail.com

Follow me on Instagram: @brycelandes


my past 2 months —

Artist: Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne
Song: “Real Love”

How do I even begin to talk about these past two months? I’ve allowed myself to become so busy with life that I forgot what it was like to blog. Then I was at a point where I couldn’t even figure out how to write about things.

But here I am, now. I can only go surface level on the past two months, because far too much has happened in my life, it’s unbelievable.

First and most importantly, I’ve started making friends. I am loving the people in my program here; they are diverse and challenge my beliefs and worldview. But they also show me love in such unconditional ways. Studying abroad creates such strong bonds between people, and I love it.

_MG_2279I went to Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj appeared as a surprise guest, so that was COOL I GUESS. Special shout out to my friend Sam Moreno for letting me borrow her Beyoncé shirt; it took a lot of persuading, but I really appreciate it.

FOOD is so important, and this crème brûlée was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten.

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Prague: one of my roommates from Tennessee came to visit! Mamie, Coley & I met him in Prague for my first weekend trip! We had an unbelievable time eating one of the best meals I’ve ever had (Czech food is BOMB.) and exploring an amazing new city that I knew absolutely no history of. I’m a very good tourist, if you ask me.Processed with VSCOcam with 5 presetWhile Cole was still in town my best friend eva came to visit me for 12 days! Still don’t know how it happened, but I’m so happy I was able to share my city with people from back home. We hit it all: the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower (like 3 times) and so many other things. While he was here we decided we go to Sacré-Cœur to see the view at night, but stumbled upon a fireworks show!

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Processed with VSCOcam with 4 presetMamie also had a friend in town, and it was crazy how many UT students were in Paris!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAfter Carter, Cole and Emily left Paris another one of my roommates came in town! His best friend is studying in Belgium this semester, so he went there first, and then we met up for a trip to Amsterdam. The travel to Amsterdam was horrible, honestly. I missed my bus to Belgium and had to take a train to meet up with him.

Amsterdam was such an amazing city. I didn’t have nearly enough time there, but we were able to do a bike tour of the city (which was terrifying because I hate bikes), see the Anne Frank museum, and enjoy walking through the canals. The Anne Frank museum was such a surreal experience, and I’m thankful that I was able to be where she and her family and friends had been.

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Processed with VSCOcam with 5 presetOn Halloween I went out with my friend Emma and met a bunch of French people. It was one of my first times interacting for a long period of time with people who don’t speak English. It was terrifying, tiring and so rewarding to make it until 5 a.m. speaking French. And yes, I did say 5 a.m. I’m still not sure how I stayed up that late and I literally can never do it again.

Today I got back from Florence with Coley. We spent five days in Italy and it was phenomenal. We got to see Bologna and visit one of my friends from high school, as well as three days exploring Florence. It was one of my favorite vacations I’ve had in a while. Coley and I were able to get amazing quality time, we saw the most beautiful sights, and ate the most ridiculously delicious food that’s ever been made.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe had deep conversations and I’m feeling so rejuvenated from my time with Coley!

There’s just no way to put into words these past two months. I can’t believe how much has happened, but what will I do when this final month is over? It’s all too much for my small mind to comprehend. For now, though, I’m going to make the most of it.

– B

For comments & inquiries, please e-mail me at brycelbeyer@gmail.com

Follow my adventures on Instagram: @brycelandes


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finding my normal in paris —

Artist: Banks
Song: “And I Drove You Crazy”

In my last post I mentioned the struggles I’ve encountered since being abroad. Homesickness and culture shock come at me in waves. Pepper in a language barrier and essentially being with strangers and these past two weeks have been quite a roller coaster of emotions.

But it just hit me: I’ve actually been here two weeks.

And today as I woke up and walked to the Metro I noticed something else. The culture shock is becoming less harsh. The homesickness has ebbed. I feel more confident in my ability to communicate in France and I’m beginning to feel known by those around me.

I’m finding my normal.

I have a boulangerie near my school that I love to go to for a pastry or small sandwich before class. I have a list of cafes I want to eat at that I pass going to campus.

I feel confident on the Metro. I know the route from my apartment to Gare de Lyon as well as the quickest way to walk to CEA from the Hôtel de Ville stop.

The Metro may be may favorite part of Paris. It’s nice to ride with people, but it’s so much better alone. To find a seat, put on head phones and just lose yourself for 25 minutes as you just… ride.

School is intense, but I finally know my schedule. My routine. I know which days I have to run errands and which days I can walk and rest in Square Jean XXIII behind Notre-Dame.


I know the routes to different friends’ apartments, and it’s exhilarating.

It’s exciting because I feel like I can finally make this city my own. I’ve gotten over the initial obstacle of breaking into it, and now I get to discover and experience Paris.

My Paris.

Of course more mistakes will come–they always do–but I feel comfortable enough to face those.

This journey is only beginning.

– B

For comments & inquiries, please e-mail me at brycelbeyer@gmail.com

Follow my adventures on Instagram! @brycelandes


merci, jésus —

Artist: Hozier
Song: “In a Week”

We’re approaching week two of being in Paris. Far too much has happened to even attempt to share with the world. Friendships are beginning, though not as deeply as I would hope. The city feels more like home, but I still feel too lost for it to be familiar.

Classes began last week, and it was a harsh reminder that I am in fact here to learn. I was expecting easier classes because the staff would understand that students are in a new country hoping to experience new things and travel through Europe. I’d dare say that these courses will be more intensive than any semester at University of Tennessee.

One of my favorite classes is “French Civilization & Culture” in which we are comparing French and American cultures through a historical lens. During our second class we discussed what culture is, and how we relate to it as foreigners this semester.

A metaphor that my professor used is that our culture is like a skin, and when we are exposed to a new a culture that skin starts to shed. Our assimilation into that culture is the production of a new skin. We aren’t different at our core, but our behaviors and attitudes morph so that we are able to blend more effectively.

In many ways, I pride myself in my ability to blend into many different groups and situations. When I am alone walking the streets of Paris I am convinced that it is impossible to pick me out as an American. I don’t smile as I pass strangers, I dress the part (as best I can), and I speak French when I have to.

This all goes away as soon as I’m around other students. I become the stereotypically boisterous and obnoxious Americans. And I hate it. I feel torn between my desire to be apart of the community around me and ignore the culture and vice versa. 

This morning a week’s worth of emotions all came to the surface when I went to Hillsong Paris. I was meeting a few friends for a morning of worship and teaching. Desperately needed that, but I didn’t expect to be overwhelmingly affected.

Walking into a place where Parisians were welcoming everyone with smiles and laughter surprised me. It felt like I was back in America and for the first time since being in Paris I realized I was homesick. I missed the comfort of my culture and my normal.

I was unable to stop the tears that streamed down my face as I stood and hugged Coley and Mamie. Emotions related to homesickness, relationships, fears, happiness and everything else were unleashed as I stood in a courtyard amidst strangers.

My volatile emotions continued as worship began in both French and English. There is power in praising God in different languages. Especially around strangers. But all of these people were worshipping the same God of love and grace, and I couldn’t stop my tears.

My God has never left me. He will not forsake me. Despite all the changes I’ve experienced during these two weeks, He has remained constant. He has protected me, and lead me exactly where I’m supposed to be in each moment. He has given me boldness to share His hold on my life with others, and I cannot deny that even though I’m in Europe Jesus is pursuing me relentlessly and powerfully.

Merci, Jésus. Your grace and love are sufficient through these wildly exciting, new & scary times.

A bientôt,

– B

For comments & inquiries, e-mail me at brycelbeyer@gmail.com

Follow me on Instagram: @brycelandes

Mamie in front of the Hôtel De Ville

paris, days 2 & 3 —

Artist: Kimbra
Song: “Goldmine”

The past two days have been much better than my first day in Paris.

I’m not fully over my jet lag, but it’s much better than it was before. I also finally have money so I’m not crippled by an empty wallet.

Day 2: My first full day in Paris was Thursday. We had about a three hour break, so Mamie and I decided to explore some of the city. It just so happens that the Hôtel De Ville is just down the street from my school.

Then we noticed Notre-Dame just over the river.

crossing the river to see the cathedral

crossing the river to see the cathedral

I was adamant about seeing the cathedral and singing Bells of Notre Dame” and overall channeling my inner Quasimodo.

mamie bein' a mega-babe

mamie bein’ a mega-babe

in Square Jean XXIII behind the cathedral

in Square Jean XXIII behind the cathedral


back of Notre-Dame

After exploring some of Notre-Dame, Mamie and I started walking back to our campus because we had to go on a bus tour of the city. On our way back we ran into some other CEA students (including my three roommates)! It was fun to start meeting some new people from the program.

We ended up going on a bus tour of Paris where we saw so many landmarks– the Louvre, La Sorbonne, the Opera House, Champs Elysées, l’Arc de Triomphe, etc.


looking for the Phantom

On the tour we drove to a landing where you can easily see the Eiffel Tower and we were able to get out and take pictures.

Coley with the Eiffle Tower

Coley with the Eiffel Tower

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I’m loving all these old and new friends. It is wild that everyone comes from such a different walk of life, but we all came to Paris for a reason. I feel like I should’ve known these people for much longer than 4 days.

Day 3: On day three we were able to sleep in before going to campus for our oral placement exam. Mine wasn’t until 3:15 in the afternoon, so I had lots of time to spare. I needed to withdrawal money from an ATM, but I had to find one first. Of course I don’t know Paris yet, so I stopped in a pharmacy to ask for directions.

Every time I have a successful interaction with someone in French it’s a small victory. It’s pretty scary, but generally people are understanding and appreciate when you try.

I ended up walking back home from school with two of my roommates and three other CEA students. We stopped at a Chinese restaurant where our food was reheated with a microwave. It was the perfect meal though.

It was our first Friday in Paris, so we decided to go out as a group. People came to our apartment before and we hung out. We went through about four bottles of wine between eight of us. But when they are only 4 euros, who can complain?


We went out by Bastille and it was such a blast to meet locals as well as other students in a more organic setting.

I was talking to my mom the other day and telling her that I’m already falling in love with this city. Being here feels so right in this moment. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be abroad.

The language is a scary barrier, but I feel my ability growing already in these three days. There’s no where I’d rather spend fall of 2014 than Paris.

Until next time,

– B

For comments & inquiries, e-mail me at brycelbeyer@gmail.com

Follow me on Instagram: @brycelandes


paris, day 1 —

Artist: Ariana Grande
Song: “Intro”

Today may have been my longest day.

After leaving the Detroit Airport last night around 9:45 p.m., I finally arrived in Paris at 11:45 a.m. I had the delight of taking a taxi from Charles De Gaulle to the CEA center downtown Paris. However, I accidentally went with a private limousine service which cost five euros per kilometer.

That was just my first mistake of the day. Thankfully I was able to return back to the airport and take a regular, economic taxi to my school. Instead of costing 150 euros it only cost 45.

I was able to check into my school, and get some information about my apartment location and the orientation schedule.

From the CEA center I walked to my first orientation session.  I walked into the room and surprised my two bests, Mamie and Coley with my arrival! I loved seeing their faces of complete shock and excitement. Made the whole trip worth it!

After orientation I went back to my apartment for the first time. It is so spacious! I live with three other guys from all around America. One is from Atlanta, and the other two are from California; I am loving this diversity. One of my roommates is Taiwanese and he made our whole flat kimchi ramen with egg.

After dinner I walked about 20 minutes to Mamie’s apartment, which is in the 11th arrondisement. Mamie and Coley told me that they had a surprise for me. We boarded the metro, and I wasn’t allowed to know where we were going.

When we finally got to our exit we walked about a hundred feet and turned down a staircase, and there it was. The Eiffel Tower. I almost collapsed at the sight of it. I’m a dramatic person, but that is not an exaggeration; I couldn’t believe I was seeing such a famous landscape with my own two eyes.

Coley and Mamie told me that we would be having a picnic with red wine, chocolate, bread and berries in the park beside the tower. WHAT?

me + my coley

me + my coley

It was just the happiest time. I’m so thankful to be in this city with these two girls. They are such a comfort to have here in such a scary city.

Today’s scariest story occurred on the metro back to Mamie’s apartment. After buying my single ticket for a ride from the Eiffel Tower to Mamie’s apartment, I threw my ticket into the trash. While Mamie and I were sitting on the train (and I was resisting the urge to pee my pants), metro workers came along to check tickets. Since I threw mine away I was fined 50 EUROS and asked to leave the train!

It was absolutely crazy, and I was frustrated and exhausted and confused and ready to be in bed. But through out the whole situation I was reminded that I’m not called to control or even understand every situation. I just have to trust God and remember that He is in control.

It has been a long day. After too long of a walk I’m finally back in my apartment. I have completed my first day in Paris. It wasn’t easy, but it was an absolute blast. I was put in situations where I had to use my French, and I am so thankful for this day.

– B

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