August 20, 2005. I was 20 years old, had 6 years of French under my belt, and got to fly international first class (!!!) avec mon père to Paris. Two full semesters studying abroad. I’d been planning this for years. A full year abroad was the whole reason I stayed in-state for college, letting scholarships cover my tuition so my dad would fund a year in Europe.
My dad was going to be with me for two full weeks. As he’d been to Paris a dozen times, and I’d been twice before (and had 10 whole months ahead of me!), after getting my apartment all set up, we decided the best use of our time would be exploring other parts of France. So six days into my year abroad, we rented a weird yellow Peugeot and hit the road.