A Second Home

And it’s finally come to a close. I am currently on my couch in my French home with my French family, sitting with my French dog and listening to the French sitcom blaring in the background. In just 24 hours, I will be sitting in my American home with my American family, my American dog curled up in my lap and an American TV show playing (or, knowing my family, an American game show).

It’s a bit surreal.

It hasn’t quite processed that I’ll be leaving this beautiful country tomorrow, but the truth is that my father and I booked me a flight for Thursday, June 27 at 8:45 a.m. (dad, if you’re reading this, I’m just wondering why we decided a flight that early in the morning was a good idea?) from Paris to Amsterdam to Atlanta. And though that truth hasn’t really hit me in the face yet, I’m sure it will when I’m checking my bag onto the Delta flight and waving goodbye to my family here.

ACP Picnic

Paris has become more than just a breathtaking city to me over these last six months: it’s become my home. I can wind through the streets of Montmartre without getting lost and find my favorite restaurant where the workers recognize me as a regular (36 Rue Lamarck—yes, I did just type that without pulling out my Paris address book), I can go into the Louvre more than once because I want to see that particular painting in the French section on the third floor, I can walk down the hidden street next to St. Michel and say hello to my favorite atelier in the city. I’ve gone from staring at my Paris map to learning the metro map by heart and from confusion on the bus in the suburbs to blending in as one of the locals.

And as I’ve gotten to know Paris, I’ve learned so much about myself. I’ve traveled alone and with people and discovered what I like and don’t like about both methods of travel. I’ve spent time with people from all around the world and learned so much more than I ever could have if I stayed in Atlanta for the semester. I’ve grown so much through this experience that I can say, without a doubt, that it will stay with me forever.

A few “merci”‘s for the people who have made this semester an enormous success:

Thank you, UVSQ friends, for the laughs, the nights out, and the wonderful times we had together. I couldn’t have dreamed up a more interesting, wonderful, and diverse group of friends. We are now scattered all around the world, but I’m already looking forward to a future reunion in Paris!

Toga Party success!

The Brits 😉

American Church in Paris…what would I have done without you and your incredible people? I walked into that church and it immediately felt like home. And ACP Youth: I have never felt so comfortable in a Young Adult group in my life. I will miss you all so much more than I can say.

To my best friends (you know who you are!), thank you for listening to my story, making me laugh way too much, and being my family. I can’t thank you enough for your love. We’ve all shared something together that we will never forget, and that’s something really special.

Gonna miss this one!
My favs xo
“Older brother,” and, more appropriately, best friend. Xo
Beautiful Cris!
The best people around!
Me and Bails being crazy in the Tuileries
Rubs ❤
My favorite Italian!
❤ Sorry we look so pale, Bails! Bad lighting…
❤ ❤

To my French family—I would have been lost without you. Thank you for your hospitality, for taking care of me, and for treating me like a part of the family. In turn, I have certainly become part of the family.

Lil’ French bro

+ French mom

And to my family back home—all of you, from Atlanta to Tennessee to Alabama—thank you for your love, your prayers, and your kind thoughts. Though I have been far away for awhile, you have never been far from my heart.

Love from Paris (and soon—Atlanta)!

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