What a brilliant and original concept. Visit thebackpackerintern.com to follow Mark van der Heijden’s journey.
Right now, as I write, I am on the Eurostar from London to Paris. This appears to be mundane to some. Businessmen with little suitcases that have four wheels and side rolling capabilities. Mothers with colouring books for the regular weekend trip with the family. But for me – with my three giant suitcases – this trip is anything but mundane. Not only is this my first time taking the Eurostar, but it’s also a one-way ticket to living in Paris.
I have wanted this since I was 13 – when I took my first French class. At the time, everyone said I was making a mistake and that Spanish was the more practical language for Southern Californians. But I knew I was going places – quite physically, I wanted to leave the country. And well, to all those that told me it was silly to learn French, I say…
Bonjour, je m’appelle Violeta et je suis une étudiante à la Sorbonne maintenant après deux ans à Londres. J’ai appendu le français parce que c’était mon rêve d’habiter en France. Et voilà, avec persistance, il est possible. Donc, si vous voulez quelque chois, c’est votre responsabilité de prendre l’initiative. Comme il y a déjà beaucoup de gens qui sont prêts de vous dire que votre idée est stupide, impossible, ou impraticable.