These five photos mean so much to me because they represent the beginning of my study abroad experience in Paris. When I arrived in Paris, I knew what I was getting myself into. Having visited the city multiple times before, I was already pretty comfortable here. It was an absolute rush meeting new people, going to new classes, and visiting new places (in and outside of Paris). I am astonished at how much my friends and I managed to see and experience in those first weeks. Now, I am writing this post in October; the leaves are starting to change and the rain clouds are pushing in slowly over the horizon. Looking back at the photos I took during this time, I am reminded of how much has changed between now and then. Beautiful though they were, those humid, end-of-summer days were exhausting, both physically and mentally. The change of weather has been a kind of turning point for me, personally. I feel myself less running around, trying to complete a never-ending to-do list, and actually feeling more settled in here in Paris, with a true sense of home and belonging. I look forward to seeing what this new chapter of life abroad has in store.
Isabel Lerissa is the Fall 2019 CEA MOJO Photographer in Paris, France, and is currently studying at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.