When I made my plans for studying abroad, I knew it would be difficult, as always, to be away from home for a long time. But I also knew that my family would be visiting at some point during my trip, and this became something I looked forward to more and more as I spent more time abroad.
As I have mentioned, Oxford has been a good academic challenge for me, but I have not had many opportunities to change up my routine, so a family visit was welcome for me.
All I can say is that getting to see my family and travel with them in Europe was a surreal experience I will never forget. Last Friday I met the family in London to catch a train to Paris. Paris has been a bucket list destination for as long as I can remember, and I still cannot believe I got a chance to go there.
Though we were only in Paris a few days, we still had the trip of a lifetime. Perhaps my favorite stop in Paris was the Louvre Museum. Though we knew the Louvre held famous pieces like the Mona Lisa, we weren’t sure what else to expect.
Needless to say, we were blown away by the sheer beauty and variety of pieces in the museum. We saw everything from old tapestries to exquisitely detailed ceramics, not to mention the incredible paintings. As a Coldplay fan, I was particularly excited to see Liberty Leading the People, which was used for their “Viva La Vida” album cover.
Everything we saw in Paris was simply spectacular. My Mom got to fulfill her lifelong dream of seeing the Eiffel Tower illuminated at night, and we all agreed that the Tower looks even better at night than during the day.
We also had some of the most incredible food of our lives. My brother and I were particularly impressed by France’s take on the hot dog, which has the meat in a baguette surrounded by cheese.
I had a couple moments in Paris where I did the same thing I did during my first few days in London, which was to stop and take a second to remind myself of where I was. I was in Paris on a sunny day with my family. A trip that had been a dream for so long was finally happening. Getting to have this experience with the people I love the most is something I will be forever grateful for.
When I got back to Oxford, my family remained in London for a couple days to do some of their own travelling before coming to Oxford. It was a lot of fun to show them around where I have been studying these past couple months. I got to show them my favorite spots around the city and discover a few new places while they were here.
Getting to spend this time with my family was exactly what I needed at this stage of the term. Out of all the amazing experiences I have had over the past few months, this has to be the best one. For those thinking of taking a family trip to Paris, I could not recommend it more.
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My name is Brady Judd. I am from Mill Creek, Washington, and I am a third-year history major at Whitworth University. As a history nerd, I am incredibly excited to be traveling to the UK. I have also long been a fan of British culture, watching shows like "Top Gear" and "Sherlock" as I grew up. I am an avid learner, so I can't wait to share all of the things I will be discovering with you.