Début du Printemps
Today was the first sign of spring. The birds were chirping, the sun was finally shining over the city of Strasbourg, and the smell of Easter filled the air. I met up with the girls for lunch, as well as Rachel, our advisor, and we fawned over the display of chocolate eggs and bunny rabbits in the window. It had been over 10 days since we had seen each other and it was so wonderful catching up, listening to stories, and sharing everyone’s different vacation travel experiences.
My previous three “vacations” include a weekend in Amsterdam with Jessica and Jack, a wonderful 10 day visit from my brother, and a week spent in the French countryside with my host family. What do these three experiences have in common? Truly, the most important thing I have learned from being abroad is that it is not about where you go, but the people you spend time with that make it all the while. Certainly, there are highlights from these adventures, which include:
• Shielding my eyes away from the Sex Museum and Red light district of Amsterdam (both of which Jess and I were forced to endure)
• Home-made taco night chez Barbara….which is why I still have a third degree burn on my hand
• Meeting up with our family friends for a dinner in Paris (NEIGHBORS!)
• Visiting my “host grandmother” and training my host brother the art of running each morning (in the mud, nonetheless)
• Planning an oral presentation on the history and degustation of the notable Alsatian wine Pinot Gris (It’s gris, not grigio)
While it may be true that I could go on and on about how fantastic my study abroad experience has been, one important thing I always must take into account is what is it that makes it so special? Is it the classes, the beauty of the French language and culture, or the opportunity to travel and the fact that we have Europe at our feet? I know for sure that all of these factors are not nearly as important as the fact that I have met so many incredible people along the way. New friend or old, European or American, a long built in friendship or brief crossing of paths, studying abroad is living abroad and creating memories and relationships that will be ingrained in me forever. Thank you for everyone who as shared these experiences with me, and I can only hope that in the next few months here, while the weather gradually turns warmer, my relationships with others will grow stronger.
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