This is a post from June 2011 on my previously self-hosted blog.
As the close of my academic year abroad approaches, I am confronted with an assortment of feelings and memories regarding my recent experiences and overwhelmed by the very thought of the months to come. Within ten days I will be flying halfway across the world to return “home” and permanently close the living abroad chapter of my life.
Although the number of positive experiences exist in great quantity – living in Europe, traveling, my education, obtaining my master’s degree, learning new languages, meeting new people and making new friends, growing as a writer, etc. – I am ready to come home. I am ready to start a new chapter of my life, find a job, continue to grow and learn, and step into a more adult role. For the first time in my life (ignoring the first two and half years of my life, which I do not recall), I will no longer be a student (within an institution of course). I would like to consider myself a pupil of some sort regardless of my lack of enrollment in a university.
My one last adventure before my final return home included a trip to Eastern France to visit ma meilleure amie, ma coupone, where I had the opportunity to explore the beautiful Notre Dame de Strasbourg, wander the caves of Grotte d’Osselle, enjoy a promenade along the walls of the Besançon Citadel, and of course, enjoy local French cuisine (already terribly missed).
This past year has been a period of growth and learning, discovering myself, my abilities as a French-speaker, researcher, student, academic, writer, and independent adult. I’ve learned so much over the last nine months and this experience has been utterly irreplaceable. Needless to say, however, I am ready to return home. I hope you enjoy some of these photos from the East of France.