You Say Bagel, I Say Croissant
A would-be Parisian abandons New York for the glories of Europe. But when visa troubles foil her plans, she finds the distance between the continents significantly smaller than imagined.
When I moved to Paris in January of 2012, I left behind a life in New York I’d spent seven years building: my career, my friends, and the familiarity of American culture. I didn’t know how long my savings would last, and so, stupidly, I never applied for a proper visa. Naturally, I ended up overstaying my three-month tourist visa by a good six months, and when I left for my best friend’s October wedding in New York, I was pulled aside and interrogated by airport border control before my connecting flight in Amsterdam. My visa was electronically flagged, ensuring that I would not be permitted to come back to France a week later as I’d expected. In fact, if I tried, I could be banned from Europe forever, according to some frightening websites.
With the exception of a week’s worth of clothes and my journal, all of my possessions remained in Paris. After a few days of panicking, I decided that I didn’t want my dream to be over, and nobody was going to tell me …
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