Home: Life After Paris

Caitlin Hartley
July 16, 2013

I am back.

I can’t believe how fast it all went. As you can tell, I didnt even get a chance to write much the last two weeks I was in Paris. With school and trying to cram as much as posisble into my finals days in France, updating my blog just wasn’t an option. So, sadly, I’m back now, writing away.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am so happy to be home. I missed the Sunshine state. I my friends and my family. I was so happy when I got home. However, I was very sad to leave. I was sad to leave my IES friends, and I was even more sad to leave this magical city that I fell in love with. I definitely want to come back some day. I don’t know if I would ever want to live there, but I do believe there is no other city like Paris. This trip has made me want to see more. I want to keep looking, and find out what other places this world has to offer. As of right now, all I really know is Florida and Paris. What else is out there? Now, I really want to know, thanks to studying abroad.

Of course there were positives and negatives. I wish my living situation had been different. Some people just get lucky with their host families. I wish I hadn’t become so homesick in the beginning. And I wish some of the people I met were warmer. However, I do not regret it one bit. Because while there were things I wish were different about my trip to France, I wouldn’t have given it up for the world. I am so happy I decided to go to Paris. My not-so-great host mom taught me how to not let things get to me. If one thing goes wrong, that doesn’t mean your day is ruined. I’ve really learned how to just keep looking for the positives, and I love that about myself now.

I never understood the importance of traveling until making this decision to go to Paris. I just feel like I learned so much in such a short period of time, and I’m not just talking about my skills with the French language (because I did become exponentially better with my speaking/understanding abilities). I am also referring to just my own personal growth and self discovery. I might not know what it takes to be an full adult yet, with the responsbilities of raising a family, but I do think I have matured, and realized there is much more important things in my life. I don’t NEED anybody else to be successful or to enjoy my life. I am okay with being by myself. And if things don’t go the way I initially expected, so what? It’s probably for the best. And if I make mistakes…great. I’ve learned what I’ve done wrong, and will make it better, somehow. I know what you’re thinking…How can just a mere six weeks in Paris teach me all that? Well, I have no idea either. I just feel so lucky that I was able to learn all this and live in one of the most amazing cities in the world. And now, I’m just hungry for more. So, merci beaucoup Paris!

More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs

Caitlin Hartley

<div><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);">My name is Caitlin, and I&#39;m 20 years old, but I will turn 21 this June (when I&#39;ll be in Paris)! I&#39;m super stoked about my trip this summer. I&#39;m a journalism major at the University of Florida and I&#39;m attaining my minor in French Language. I am hoping this trip will really advance my growth in the speaking aspect of the language. I love love love sports. I grew up going to football games with my family. Go Gators! This will be my first trip out of the U.S., but I&#39;ve never been so excited for something in my entire life. I love writing and eating, and I know this will be a great opportunity for me. I hope you will enjoy my blog!</span></div>

2013 Summer 1, 2013 Summer 2
Home University:
University of Florida
Explore Blogs