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Preparing for Paris

Written by: Brooke Estep

Ever since I hit the “submit” button on my study abroad application in October, I have anxiously been awaiting my return to La Ville-Lumière (the City of Light).

This is not to say that I did not like Munich. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Bavarian capital, because it was somewhere I had never been before, and the charm of Germany is always exciting to experience. It was an incredible 5 days, filled with bratwurst, mulled cider, and lots of laughs.

But today was the day we left Germany and headed to the country I always wished I was born in. I really think I could make it as a Frenchwoman. I love bread, coffee, and striped shirts.

While I have been to Paris once before, I left knowing I wouldn’t be able to see everything I wanted to (ergo I had to come back).

This study abroad trip is a combination of many things I love- traveling, writing, eating, and meeting new people. While I could have done this in a number of cities, I’m glad Munich and Paris were chosen. Both cultures are food-centric, where people bond and share life over food. They value mealtimes, pausing their lives for an hour or two and join together over currywurst and pretzels or a croque-monsieur and mineral water. It doesn’t matter what it is (we even made a meal out of street food), as long as you take the time to share it with someone.

We took a walking tour of the neighborhood this evening, and my favorite part was not the historic fountain or the view, but watching locals greet each other on their way home from dinner or meeting with friends to go on a walk. I saw high fives and hugs, kisses and waves. Each one full of joy for the New Year.

In light of New Years, this lifestyle habit is something I want to make a part of my every day life, beyond this trip. My “New Year’s Resolution” is to be more Parisian. Have long dinners, walk around my city more, eat more croissants, and intentionally share life with the people I am blessed to call my friends. That’s something I admire every time I travel abroad. Food and culture change, but no matter where I am, people are always laughing and living their lives with the ones that matter to them.

New Year’s Eve has put 2018 off to an unbelievable start. We could have spent our first days of 2018 anywhere, but I’m preparing for Paris.

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Brooke Estep

Paris-Munich Winter
Marshall University

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