In the second summer of high school, I had an opportunity to visit France and England with a bunch of other high school kids. We were probably rowdy, loud, and the typical Americans riding on too many tour buses, but that trip changed my life. It became my gateway drug to travel and exploration. My traveling love affair a commencé. I loved the French culture, the language, the food… basically I loved everything. I thought to my teenage self, I ought to do that again. In college, that love affair culminated into a study abroad in Paris – way out of my price range, and completely worth it. Now , it is post graduation. I’ve decided to teach abroad for a year with elementary kids in the heart of Marseille. Before accepting the position I asked my grandmother, will I regret it if I decline? In all her wisdom she said, yes. That was it.
I’m excited and hopeful that this year will be one I always look back on fondly. That I can reminisce and say “back in my day” stories to the youngsters. But mostly, I hope I learn. Learn about the cultural differences and ethnic diversity that often goes unnoticed in this country. Learn proficiency in this language (and the whole necessary slew of slang words so I’m not left out). Learn about poverty, feminism, and socio-political contexts in a country beyond my own. Learn how to slow down and appreciate the little things. Learn how to stress less. Learn how to teach a bunch of rambunctious kids English with only a marginally small Texas influence y’all. Lastly, I hope I learn how to be a better person in this big world and continue to make a positive difference.
I made this blog with the aspiration of sharing these learnings with family and friends, so thanks for stopping by! ( If you’re here I’m assuming you’re one of them.) If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave comments. I look forward to hearing from you.