I have wanted to go to France, and especially Paris, for as long as I can remember. I read the Madeline books when I was little and fell in love. I took French classes and learned the language and the culture. I read books about Paris. I hosted a French exchange student. And this summer, I finally got to go.
My aunt took me as a graduation present a year late. I stayed in Paris for a week with one day trip to Lyon to visit my friend. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Travel to a different country is like nothing else. Landing at the Charles de Gaulle Airport, France just felt different from the United States. It wasn’t just that the people were all speaking French; it had a feeling of magic and excitement about it.
Travel is about exploring new places and meeting new people. There is a stereotype that all French people are rude, but I found them all to be very nice and helpful, especially when I attempted to speak French to them. I got a wonderful local’s perspective of Lyon from my friend Cassandra and enjoyed a traditional French lunch that she had made for us. The whole trip, I had a wonderful feeling that Paris was the right city for me.
And now, I am looking forward to going back to Paris this January for winter term. I am going on the trip with Professor Angresano and Professor Melchiore. This trip will be very different for me. While I will see many of the same things (the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame) there will be lots of new and exciting things too. We are going to Versailles, which I missed this summer, visiting the French government offices, and taking a trip up to Normandy. I am excited to go back to Paris, and experience it in a different way than before!!
- Caitlin Fellows
Caitlin is a sophomore political economy major from Salt Lake City.