Hi there! I greet you in English this time, as I have now returned to the lovely peach state (good old Georgia)! Towards the end of my month-and-a-half in France, I was actually quite enthusiastic to return home. I was happy of course, and incredibly grateful for my study abroad experience, but I couldn’t help but feel impatient to return to my regular life. I felt excited for my second year of university, and eager to make the most of my time at home before leaving for college again.
My last few days, however, were bittersweet. As I took my usual route home on the final day of classes, it struck me that it was my last commute. The comfortable, pedestrian-friendly streets leading to my host family’s house, lined with Carrefour grocery stores and Parisian cafés at every corner- accompanied by the picturesque view of the Eiffel Tower peeking out over majestic apartment buildings, as I was lucky enough to live in the 7th arrondissement– are forever ingrained into my memory. Even now, I can picture it all with clarity. I do believe that this summer was an experience I will never be able to forget.
Surprisingly, I felt odd adjusting to life in the U.S. again. My diet was extremely different in France, and quite frankly, I miss my daily croissants or pain au chocolat, made fresh by my local boulangerie every morning! The other day, I simply had to run an errand, and I couldn’t help but think that suburban Georgia is so much more limiting than the city of Paris. I loved being able to easily walk or take a metro to wherever I wanted to go- a museum with friends, a famous French neighborhood, or a Parisian park. Now, I need to drive almost twenty minutes in traffic to reach the nearest Wal-Mart. The lifestyle change was a bit shocking.
Now that I’ve been back for almost a week, though, I’ve adopted a new mindset. I’m so grateful for everything that I have been able to experience this summer, and I’m ready to utilize what I’ve learned during my study abroad program in my day-to-day life. My French skills, and especially my listening comprehension and speaking, have improved drastically. I plan to practice the language every single day to maintain my knowledge. I also learned to make the most of everything the city had to offer while I was in Paris. I now plan to make more of an effort to take advantage of everything in Washington, D.C.! I’m incredibly excited for a potential future study abroad as well, and I believe that I now hold the tools to have an easier transition to life abroad.
Au revoir is how I’ve signed off every blog. But to France, I say à bientôt (see you soon)! I am enthusiastic to see what the future holds. Yet I am sure that this was only the first of many experiences learning to adore la vie en rose, en France.