Thinking back on my time abroad, I am so glad I was able to participate in my program. I have not mentioned this before in any of my blog posts, but I actually was not super interested in going abroad. Weird, I know. I was super excited about the idea of my program when I first found it on the IES Abroad website, super excited when I applied, but the second I got in I no longer wanted to go. The idea of packing up and moving across the world, even for just six weeks, did not appeal to me anymore. I immediately came up with a million reasons as to why I shouldn’t go and why it seemed impractical, but my parents were not willing to budge. I had committed to this program, I was excited at one point, and now I needed to go to Europe and experience this time in a new place.
While I was abroad I had so much more fun than I thought I would. I absolutely loved having such a small program. The six of us did basically everything together from movie nights to travelling all over. Some of the places we went together were Milan, Marseille, all over Morocco, and various beaches on the French Riviera. I’ve written a whole post each about Milan and Morocco but haven’t spoken a lot on Marseille yet.
One of the things that stood out to me the most in Marseille was the food. I consistently had some of the best meals of my time abroad while in this city. One place you can’t miss is Au Falafel. We had a program excursion lunch there once, and then I went back with friends twice before we left. I had never had falafel before, and I can say that I was definitely not disappointed when I tried it here. Everything there was super flavorful and delicious.
The second place you absolutely cannot miss in Marseille is a small restaurant, L’Infusion Marseille. I would literally fly back to Marseille just to eat here again. My friends and I went for brunch on my birthday, and it was easily one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. I cannot stress to you enough how we all loved it. The menu changes weekly and features cakes and pastries, pancakes, fresh fruit, a massive tea selection, and coffee. The shop is decorated beautifully, and the service was wonderful. The people who owned and worked in the shop were so friendly and fun to chat with while we ate. It was such an overwhelmingly good experience one of my friends cried a little. Not to be dramatic, but that meal was 100% worth happy tears.
There are a lot of things I miss about being abroad other than those two restaurants. I would definitely say one of the things I miss the most is being able to walk everywhere. I love having my car back, but it was really nice to be in cities where everything was walkable. I felt more energized in general by having that little bit of exercise ingrained in my day.
Overall, I am so glad I did end up going abroad, even with all my reservations. It was such a valuable experience to be able to travel and try new things in a foreign environment. I made great friends and learned so much at the same time.
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<p>My biggest passion in life has always been riding horses. I began riding when I was in the second grade and love it even more than I did when I started. I used to do a lot of creative writing about horses and riding, and this experience stimulated my love of writing in the academic sphere. I cherish any chance to combine these two passions in creative academic settings.</p>