Bon Voyage à Moi

Well I can hardly believe it, but it is my last night in France. It completely snuck up on me, yet here it is. I still have so many pictures that I haven’t posted, so many stories that I haven’t written. I meant to blog extensively this past week, but somehow it seemed wrong to spend all my last precious time on the internet instead of with Vlad, his family, or in Toulouse.

I will certainly miss this sight

I will certainly miss this sight

When I return to the US, I will be faced with the formidable task of unpacking and reorganizing my life (just to pack it up and reorganize it again 2 weeks later when I return to university) and the marathon family Christmas visits that will start as soon as I wake up  in the US. I say all this to say that I may not post or write more. I would like to, but I know how life is. When I studied abroad in Buenos Aires I kept a diary, and the last few weeks I fell behind. I told myself when I returned to the US I would write the rest down, but I never did. I felt too removed from the experience.

This will certainly not be the last blog post I write however. I have absolutely loved having a blog and I look forward to another time in my life when I will be able to do this again. Reading my first entries and seeing my first adventures in France brings back so many special memories; I know this blog will be an invaluable souvenir. Furthermore, I have thoroughly enjoyed flexing my writing muscles. Like everything, you must practice writing to keep from getting “rusty”. The times when I wrote lengthy, thoughtful posts and then reread and edited them almost endlessly were really enjoyable for me.

But more than a souvenir, and more than writing exercises, the best part of my blog was the human connection. I’m so glad my family and friends back home read my blog; nothing made me happier than hearing how much they loved a certain post or picture. And then as a completely unexpected bonus, I was Freshly Pressed and through that made connections with so many other bloggers who are interested in what I post, and whose blogs I love reading as well. I never expected people I didn’t know to ever read my blog, so every new like, comment or follower touched me greatly.

The Pont Alexandre III. Credit: Vlad

The Pont Alexandre III – Credit: Vlad

The other day Vlad asked me if I thought my experience in France changed me at all. I thought for a moment and decided that no I was not changed, instead, I came into my own. I got to do all the things I love. I was constantly surrounded by history, architecture and beauty. I got to travel, see new places, visit museums and learn, meet truly caring people, write on a regular basis, and learn a new language. I didn’t change at all, rather, I settled into my identity. Which at just over 21, is a nice thing to settle into.

In Paris

In Paris

To those reading who are waiting for me back home, see you very soon. And to those who found me through WordPress, thank you so much for reading and for your completely unexpected support and kind words.

Bonnes fêtes à tous!

The ceiling of Galeries Lafayette in Paris


About emily

In love with all things travel and culture.
This entry was posted in Living in France and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Bon Voyage à Moi

  1. LaVagabonde says:

    Bonnes fêtes et bon voyage. 🙂

  2. jeffswebb says:

    what a great experience. so glad you’ve enjoyed this so much and SO proud of you for making the most of your opportunity. we’ve enjoyed the blogs so much. i can’t really express what a difference the blog made, the way it allowed us to be on the adventure with you and understand your thoughts and feelings along the way. WELCOME HOME SOON!!! there will be many more adventures 🙂

  3. Mom says:

    You have done a magnificent job with your blog! I will miss reading your impressions and seeing the gorgeous pictures with each post. You always made me feel I was right there experiencing the moment with you (and sometimes we were – great memories!). What a wonderful way for you to always remember such an adventure in your life!
    Well, as you told me…”bon voyage et bon courage”.
    Maison bienvenue!

  4. Covetotop says:

    Feliz Navidad y buen viaje! Echaré de menos tus magníficos posts …

  5. dmswriter says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience on your blog. Your posts are written with such a sense of personality that I not only get to see beautiful photos, but sense your joy as you explore France. We still plan on heading there next year, and through you, I feel like I’ve gotten a wonderful head start on our trip. Best wishes on whatever life brings you next, and if you travel abroad again, I’d love to learn more about those travels!

    • Thank you so much! I did hope that my posts could convey my sense of wonder and enjoyment for everything I was doing. I hope you have some good ideas now for what you want to do on your trip!

  6. Vladimir says:

    I am so happy and proud of you for having kept such an interesting blog! As I keep saying, why did you not tell me to write one last year while I was in Atlanta? 😀 ha ha
    I still cannot believe it is the end. These 4 months have been so intense and beautiful, we traveled a lot and saw so many places. Now, you almost know France as much as I do, and you certainly know Toulouse way better than I do! Your posts always made me smile, laugh, they always taught me something. This last post almost makes me tear up. We will really cherish this blog and remember tenderly all the amazing things we’ve done during these 4 months! But life goes on, and I am more than sure that very soon, you’ll have the occasion to write another blog about another places! Yet, it is a though question to guess where we may be in the future! We will see! 😀

  7. Vladimir says:

    I also add that when I asked you whether your experience in France changed you somehow, you answered very spontaneously that it did not change you: on the contrary, you said, it helped you coming into your own, settling into your identity. Such maturity and objectivity about yourself was very impressive. 🙂

  8. All good things must come to an end. I hope that you’ll keep writing, you’ve really enchanted us fellow bloggers. I have been incredibly jealous and in awe of the places that you’ve visited. Also, I want your blue coat. Bon voyage and Joyeaux Noel!

    • Thank you so much, what a kind comment 🙂 You will get to visit them too one day I’m sure. Oh and guess what? The blue coat was my boyfriend’s mom’s, she just let me borrow it the whole trip. Then as I was packing she gave it to me! Merry Christmas to me 😉

  9. Pau says:

    I never commet on blogs but I couldn’t not comment on yours! I discovered it today through Google and have spent a while browsing through the posts. I can tell your experience in France was amazing and although I have never been to Paris or Toulouse (or France for that matter), your words and pictures made me feel right there. I have been thinking of studying abroad in France (in Toulouse, actually) next year and I have to admit your blog has gotten me more excited about it. Now when I’m there and step into a church I’ll remember your seven church posts hahaha. I look forward to future posts and hope you had a great Christmas and have an even better 2013!


    • Wow thank you so much for your comment! I’m so glad you found my blog, I created it for people like you actually because when I was thinking of going to Toulouse for a semester I couldn’t find a lot of information online. I’m so glad that you enjoyed my posts and I hope you choose France! If you do keep a blog so I can relive it!

  10. Boo hoo..Im sad. I truly enjoyed your pictures, posts, insites, and your postitive energy. Keep up the great writing. I wish you the best return back home. Adios !

  11. Blood-Ink-Diary says:

    Bonjour Emily Toulouse! Qu’est-ce une histoire belle photo! Je suis impatient de voir plus de photos de votre voyage en France!
    Merci pour le partage. salut

  12. TBM says:

    I hope things are going well.

  13. Mary Fitzpatrick says:

    Emily, I just found your blog today. Tres jolie! I am headed to Toulouse in late September and now have some very nice ideas about what I will do. My question to you: I’ve read about some caves that are east of Toulouse; they have many primitive paintings on the walls and look interesting. Do you know if this is a place I can reach by train? And is it a day trip? My husband has business in Toulouse and I will be on my own during the day.
    Thanks so much for your help!

    • emily says:

      Hi Mary, I hope you enjoy your trip! I’ve heard of these caves but have never been. I would say Google is the best parson to ask about how to get there!

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