After four weeks of “school” in Toulouse with some really great new friends, another four weeks in Moncaup with my phenomenal host family, and two weeks in Italy…I’m finally headed back to the U.S.
Writing this in London’s airport during my six hour layover, I have plenty of time to reflect on my experiences while being in Europe….
1. I love France, more than I was expecting too when I initially decided to come here. It’s amazing how a place so far away from home can feel like a second home.
2. French is really really really difficult to learn. I have so much respect for those who attempt to speak it.
3. Eating is equivalent to a sacred ritual…and it’s great.
4. Stereotypes aren’t always true…
5. The world is a huge and small place all at once
6. Most importantly, I’ve met so many wonderful people from all around the world. (And some not so wonderful people too)
I’m sure there’s more but I’m not feeling very poetic…
Things I’ll miss:
- Garden fresh tomatoes
- Wine with every meal
- Kissing on the cheek to greet people
- The metros
- Not having to tip
- Cheese courses
- Layout of the towns and cities
- My host family
- Buenos bars, Orangina, Madelienes
Things I can’t wait for in the U.S.:
- Chik-fil-a & chipotle
- Air conditioning
- Screens on windows
- My closet
- Using my phone while not on Wifi
- One dollar bills instead of one and two euro coins
- My puppy
- Friends, family, etcetera
Can’t wait till we meet again Europe, it’s been real ✌🏼️
(Note: this is a very very delayed post)
So today was my last day in Moncaup with my host family and I am now safely back to Toulouse with all of the other students. It’s a bittersweet day to have to leave my internship because as much as I wasn’t really expecting it to happen, my host family became like a second family to me. It is weird to think that I am not coming back any time in the foreseeable future when there have been so many times I’ve looked forward to “going home” and I mean to Clos Baste (mostly after hot days in the vines when I’m starving or when I’ve been stuck in the car with all of the girls for an extended period of time and they’re fighting). I am so lucky and grateful to have been assigned to this family. I really feel like I gained three sisters out of the experience and I will miss them terribly. Then there’s the parents and the rest of the family who I could barely share any conversations with, but who treated me like one of their own family members. It has been an amazing experience to get to know the Mur’s (literally all of them) and today I’m wishing the ocean wasn’t such a big place so they weren’t so far away.
One the bright side…I am excited to be back in Toulouse and understand what people around me are talking about. You never really realize completely how valuable language is until you’re the only one left out of conversations because you speak English (I mean it is a universal language…). I’m looking forward to the next day and a half or so that we all have together in Toulouse, but I know that too will end and I’ll have to say goodbye to 60 people who have become so important to me in such a short amount of time. I hate goodbyes. (My oldest sister Claire left yesterday for vacation and I cried) one last night all of us together on the town tonight and I’m very excited.
Tomorrow we are all to give presentations on our internships. I know that some people have worked ten hour days Monday through Saturday, and others, like me, have worked much less. For example…I haven’t worked since last Friday and got three other days off before that. Hopefully everyone is entertained by my family vacation stories rather than my work stories. I doubt there will be any complaining. Friday is my last day in Toulouse essentially since I leave for my flight to Paris around 5 am 😦