I wrote this about a month ago while I was flying from Mada to Paris. It’s not so much about Peace Corps but it was a fun reflection. Enjoy!
13 years have gone by and I’m finally returning to Paris! As a 9 year old I was incredibly lucky to have parents willing to take me on a cultural and historical adventure to Paris. I remember being so excited to see gothic churches, old buildings, & the paintings I had been studying in art class. I was much less interested in French cuisine and the rich & beautiful Parisian culture.After our trip to Paris I became determined to learn French and was obsessed with the culture & French lifestyle.
Back then, the EU was in the early stages of formation and the idea of a united currency was but a blip on the radar. My family used Francs and I’m guessing the dollar had the upper hand. As a 9 y/o globe trotter I was known for spilling my drinks, crying during take off because of the pressure changes, and relying on my mom & dad to carry my luggage up and down the metro stairs. I gagged at the thought of goat cheese pizza, stuck to plain sugar crepes, & didn’t understand why McDonalds served yogurt. I had Mom, Dad, & older sis to keep an eye on me and show me the wonders of Paris.
Today I will arrive in Paris with a pack on my back, a hostel reservation and only a basic idea of what I’m going to do for the next week. I’ll meet my parents later in London but Paris is ALL MINE!
During the 13 years between visits I’ve studied French, Spanish, & Malagasy. My French is pretty rusty but I can still remember the basics and compared to my family’s language skills back then, I’m pretty damn prepared. I’ve crossed the Atlantic the as many times as I’ve crossed the equator and more importantly, I’ve been living abroad for the last 10 months!
Paris & I have experienced some growth & changes between visits so we have a fair amount of catching up to do! Wish me Bonne Chance!