It has been two and a half years since I moved to France and something I am very proud of is how quickly I have been able to learn French. I studied French in high school, but the American system is not particularly great in teaching foreign languages. I left high school with a basic understanding of vocabulary and grammar. My French was practically barbaric when I arrived. Continue reading “Tips to Learn a Foreign Language”
Dear 19 year old Veronica,
Hi. It’s 21 year old you. You are now officially the age to be able to step foot in a bar in America (you did this past Christmas when you visited family and friends). I am writing this to tell you that you are strong. Continue reading “Letter to the 19 Year Old That Arrived in France”
If you ask anyone that knew me when I was a child, they would probably first tell you about my bubbly personality and then lead into how I always wanted to be an adult. I did not play with toys but played with my imagination, and if I was not playing the part of a princess or a dinosaur (because I went through a stage like that), I would play adult parts. I would play the mom, sometimes the dad, I would want to act out being a waitress, or work in a store. I just thought that growing up would be fun. Then lead into my teenage years where ALL I dreamed about was the freedom. Freedom from school, freedom from my parents telling me what to do, and the freedom to finally start chasing my dreams. Continue reading “Adulting Abroad”
No one told you about the loneliness. Not the happy, look at the Eiffel Tower loneliness… the sitting on the couch in your tiny studio apartment when you realize you haven’t spoken your native language in days loneliness. The loneliness of realizing that when you speak English, you start mixing all of the languages, and you begin to feel like you do not speak any one of them correctly. The loneliness of wanting to do things you used to do all the time – especially at this time of year. Pumpkin patches and hay rides, pumpkin carving and drinking apple cider. No one told you about how things back home change. How your best friends move on, move houses, break up, hook up… How your sister is no longer 15 but actually now 18 and will be going to the ballots to vote. Another important event in her life you will miss. Continue reading “What No One Told You About Being an Expat”
I think there is a moment when living abroad that you begin to forget the distance between you and what used to be your old home. The old life is continuing without you, you are living life without it, and there comes a moment when you realize those two things are no longer connected. The only glue is the people you care about.
It starts with the little things, like the style of speaking, the style of clothing and those changes become bigger and bigger. One day you’re sitting in your apartment with a French acceptance letter into university, French books spilling from the walls, and you realize this is now your life. You are speaking a language that used to just be beautiful mumblings, you are making a life for you.
It hit me today while I was watching a soccer match with French people as they were yelling and cheering about their team scoring, and it reminded me of football season in America. But this was different. When I screw something up, or do something out of the cultural ordinary, I tend to say “well in America…” but then I wonder if it really is like that in America. Or is it me?
This is a rambling post, but it was an interesting feeling today. I felt far from my culture, the land that raised me, the people that made me, but I know that I will never be able to shake that off of me. It is who I am. I will never lose it. Though it feels far today, I can’t deny the feeling that everything that I am working for at the moment feels like what I need to be doing. I am proud of that.
If you are an expat, have you ever had a day like this?
When I arrived to Paris back in August of 2014, I knew I was walking the streets of history. I felt it within me, a crazy sensation to put into words. Standing in Notre-Dame, I wanted to cry at the thought of how much that building had seen. Continue reading “Fantômes”
One of my favorite gardens is in the center of Paris, tucked away from the hustle of the city, is the Jardin du Palais Royal. There are plenty of cafes to stop by and drink a coffee while enjoying the arrival of Spring. Continue reading “Café”