Connecting to your City

Zoey Tyson-Taylor
October 31, 2021
Taking in the beautiful structure called Notre Dame

I know that I haven’t posted in a while, and I am so sorry for that. Midterms got to me and my schedule has been messed up for the past few weeks. However, that’s not what I wanted to talk with you about.

Throughout this journey of studying abroad and being here in the city of Paris, I haven’t really been that honest. Before I came to Paris, I thought it would be everything that I ever dreamed of and that when I stepped on that first cobblestone, everything would fall into place. Except none of that happened and I struggled with connecting to the city. I wasn’t in love with Paris at first and didn’t know why.

At the beginning of the semester, I went to Nice and fell in love with the area. I never wanted to leave and wished my program was there. It took me a while to see the beauty of Paris. Why many celebrities came here and how it is that this is the place of love and lights. What made Paris special? At the time, I wasn’t seeing it.

A couple of Sundays ago, a friend and I took a walk from Notre Dame all the way to the Arc de Triomphe. If you’ve been to Paris before that’s not an easy walk, especially when you’re trying to beat the nighttime. We had lunch, took pictures, talked, and sat by La Seine, and enjoyed the breeze. Now that may not seem like much, but that was the first time I began to really enjoy Paris. I finally felt connected to the one place I’ve always wanted to go to. My heart felt a relief that it hadn’t in a long time.

Why am I saying all this? What is the purpose of this post?

I want you all to know that it’s okay if you don’t feel connected to your study abroad destination at first. Sometimes you may never feel that connection or realize it’s not the city for you. I struggled with that for weeks and was afraid that I would never really love Paris for what it is. Sometimes you have to take a day or two and walk around to see what the city is really about.

If I hadn’t taken that Sunday to walk around and take my time to see Paris, then I wouldn’t feel the connection I do now. I’m not a city girl and coming from a smaller town, you can see where I struggled with this. I want people who are studying abroad or considering studying abroad to know that it’s okay. Things take time and if you rush them, you may not get the results you want.

What does that mean? Take your time in getting to know your city. Don't rush it. When you find the thing that you've been missing, you'll appreciate the time you took to find it. Also, it'll have more meaning to it.

Zoey Tyson-Taylor

<p>Bonjour Mes Amies! My name is Zoey Tyson-Taylor and I’m a senior studying at Hollins University, majoring in Business and History. Don’t worry, I know it’s a weird combo! I am studying abroad in Paris this Fall of 2021. I am so excited to be sharing my journey with you all! My favorite things are my family, language learning, and good food. But my one true love is ice cream…</p>

2021 Fall
Home University:
Hollins University
Williamsburg, VA
International Business
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