With a month left in the program I’m beginning to remember things I miss about home along with realizing things I will miss about France when I leave. After living in a different home for almost four months I am finally beginning to feel a part of my host family. There are certain things that have happened that I believe only happen with your real family members. First, I got my little host-brothers clothes in my part of the laundry. We’re about the same size so I suppose it was a reasonable mistake. Second, I got to make almond cookies with my host mom for dessert. Finally, my other host brother offered me a part of a sandwich that he made the day before for his hockey game (to which my host mother promptly said no). These may seem banal instances of life but they made me feel like a part of the family. I mean, who else would you offer old sandwich to? Certainly not a guest.
Yet, in the past month I’ve noticed myself thinking more of my home in Boston. I miss eating Jamaican meals three times a day in addition to my mother’s laughter which can make the house shake. I miss feeling comfortable walking into my brother’s room to talk about absolutely nothing. Perhaps this is the bittersweet feeling I desired before coming to France. For once I wanted to feel like two places were my home, I wanted to love a place so much that I’d actually be sad when I had to leave.
Each time I leave Nantes, whether I remain in France or leave the country, seeing the “centre ville” or the TAN tram lines always makes me feel at home. No I haven’t made any French friends from the university and I haven’t gone out as much as other students but at this moment I am happy with the memories I have made. I retain no feelings of “I should have ___ed”. This experience has reinforced the idea that the definitions of happiness and home aren’t the same for everyone. Still my definition of happiness remains the little things in life.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Alexandra is a junior at Georgetown University majoring in Operations and Information Management with a minor in French. After taking Spanish, Italian, and Latin in high school she decided she needed a fresh start and began French in college. Since she’s started to learn French she’s fallen in love with the language. She hopes to one day be fluent in French completing her life long dream of being bilingual. During her spare time she likes to read, practice her photography, and learn new baking and cooking recipes. Abroad she hopes to completely immerse herself in French cuisine, language, and culture.</span></p>