Until Next Time

In The Art of Travel Spring 2018, Paris, 15. Farewells by Zoe3 Comments

No part of me is ready to write this blog post.

I’m in massive denial that leaving is something I’ll be doing in a week. I’m ready to be finished with finals, sure, but I’m certainly not ready to say goodbye (for now) to the magical place I have been able to call my home for the last four months. People always told me that the whole abroad experience would seem like it would go by in an instant. I shook that off when the first few weeks went by so slowly. But then, I made friends, started classes, traveled… and bam! It’s the end of the semester. Damn.

So, Paris, thank you.

Thank you for giving me friends I will forever be grateful for meeting. I knew I would eventually make friends here but I had no idea they would become ones I’d come to consider some of my closest – be it in New York or elsewhere.

Thank you for making me get out of my comfort zone and *actually* speaking French. (I’ve spent quite a bit of time in France prior to being here for my semester and never really had to speak before because I had my parents. No parents = Zoe speaking French.)

Thank you for showing me all of the gems this city has to offer, food and otherwise. I found so many “hidden” places of interest that I actually have not done a majority of the touristy stuff yet – I’m holding those for my last days here.

“Oh mon dieu!” Thank you for teaching me French phrases that I massively overuse and will continue to do so in the States – sorry, friends!

Thank you for reinforcing that this city is my favorite place in the entire world. There is no place quite as special to me (aside from Disneyland – no joke) as Paris. I wish I could better articulate why that is but it’s like what I was told when choosing colleges: you just get a feeling that something is right.  

And thank you, more than anything else, for teaching me true patience. I’ve written before about my hellish first few weeks – they were truly some of the hardest I’ve had. I am not a patient person so “waiting things out” never tends to work well for me. But I did. And it paid off: these became four of the best months I have ever had.

Years from now, I will remember the little things that made this experience so enriching: my daily pain au chocolat (and the lack of inexpensive, good ones in the United States); the massively crowded RER B that I took to school each day; that I got to take field trips to places like the Louvre, the Palais-Royal, and les Invalides.

I suppose this is a bit of a love letter but I’m not ready to say goodbye yet – just thank you and until next time, Paris. And I promise that “next time” will be soon – and potentially a bit more permanent.

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(Image: Paris; Source: Zoe Becker)

Comments

  1. It makes me happy to read such an unapologetically loving look back on this semester. This semester definitely felt like it flew by so instantly in contrast to how four months feel like back home. I liked the structure of this piece as multiple different thank yous to all the different things that helped to shape your time in Paris as a beneficial and transformative time. It’s always refreshing to hear a positive outlook on things and I really liked this post for doing that. I hope you’re able to return to Paris again someday!

  2. I’m so incredibly happy to see that you loved the city so much. When I visited Paris, I remember thinking that I would have loved to spend another week just exploring all the city had to offer. I think that actually going out on the limb to speak the native tongue will make the biggest difference… almost immeasurable. Even with my less-than-moderate Italian knowledge, using it really does help to connect you with the city and those who inhabit it, and I’m glad that you broke free of that shackle and actually used French while in France. It’s just great to know that you had an experience that, though you’re sad to leave, you actually lived to the fullest potential! What more could you ask for!

  3. I’m actually surprised by how ready I am to leave in comparison to what I was thinking in the middle of the semester. I think finals is part of that. But I know that this stressful time in the most beautiful time of year is not gonna ruin my perception and memory of the city.

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