So I have been in France for an unexpected 2 months now. When I left Ukraine, I really had no estimate on time that I would spend here so it’s a bit surreal.
The other weekend I went out to see some friends and I was walking back from the city alone around 4am. I was just around the corner from the house when a guy grabbed me on the street. It’s a strange feeling because when you think about something like this happening to you, you think that you would be able to move, kick the guy and run away, or even scream, but just in the shock and fear, I didn’t even think to scream for help. He had his arms so tight around my body and up against him that I couldn’t move at all. He started touching me and trying to rip off my shorts. I started to feel emotional, with tears in my eyes, I am asking him what is he doing? And why? He is repeating, “Je t’aime!” The whole time I was looking into his eyes and anticipating what might happen. A rush of visions come to mind of me being raped as he is trying to pull me off the road. He is looking for somewhere to take me into the darkness, when he is distracted and looks ahead at the traffic lights. His grip became a little more loose and I bolted away down the street. I looked behind and he is just staring at me whilst slowly crossing the street. As I am running, I was making sure he didn’t follow me and got home to Loic in a fit of tears, crying until I fell asleep.
I have had guys yell at me, pull over in cars, follow me home but I am quite shocked about this and it has really made me scared to be alone now, or to pass a guy alone in a secluded area, even during the day. To be honest, lately, I am becoming a lot more anxious and I feel that everything is starting to get to me. I am not feeling like myself anymore. Sometimes I wonder if I am really able to be in a relationship right now because I can’t control my own emotions. I hate to be upset about things or to bring someone else down but at the moment, I don’t have a job, or often go out with my friends. Two girls whom I met when I first arrived to Lyon have moved to Paris and other friends are away on holidays this month or when I call/write them, they are away for the weekend or not going out.
And also, as nice as they all are, it can be difficult living in the house with the guys. Sometimes I really just miss sitting in the clean house with Oxana with some brie and a bottle of wine, listening to music and talking wishfully about love and life. Instead, it is parkour videos, yelling, running around the house and punching each other, all talking in French and I sit there bored, not understanding anything. They are a close group of friends and not that I feel as though I am in the way or left out, but I feel like I don’t get to have nice “girly time.” I miss having quiet people around the house and talking, enjoying some drinks, going to cafes. I really miss my friends. I keep daydreaming of my life in Ukraine, or even London at times, friends, my job, taking weekend trips away. I have to say I miss everything so much.
Sometimes I wonder how many relationships with a different native language actually work out? I really want to learn French but I am very easily discouraged when I sit in a room with everyone speaking another language and I don’t understand anything. I don’t want to keep asking again and again to the guys what they are talking about. When I first started travelling, this wasn’t even an issue for me. I enjoyed sitting and listening to people of different nationalities speaking their languages. It was all interesting to me. But now after Ukraine and now again in France the same thing, oh la la, it is tough on me. I, again, wonder what it would be like to date a guy who’s whole family and all friends speak English. Sometimes when I sit at the dinner table and everyone is speaking together, I daydream that I am in Australia or somewhere warm, outside having a BBQ, with everyone laughing, a good vibe and I understand everything. I am nostalgic for this. Is that bad? Maybe it is – because if I wanted an easy life, of speaking English, then I could have stayed in England or somewhere.
I think I need some time away because now maybe I am over-thinking everything when I need to think of the positive things in my life. Like the work I will begin in September, going to my interviews and meeting new families to work with. And most importantly for me right now, I have a really understanding and amazing boyfriend. This is my life and I decided that I wanted to travel and live in other countries, so I can’t be surprised when things aren’t so perfect.
#Loneliness of a Traveller