Memories from trip to Paris will remain


Brooke Larimore

As I sat in a terminal waiting for a plane that would take me to the “most romantic city in the world,” I couldn’t help but think, did I make the right decision to come?

I thought about my family that would miss me and the friends back home that were doing nothing but relaxing during spring break.

I checked and rechecked my carry on when it hit me: “When have you ever been able to sit around watching television and just relaxing during your day?”

Paris is a dream to most people, but I was actually going to go. I stepped on the plane, I sent my last text and looked at Facebook one more time before turning off my iPhone for 10 days.

My week was filled with French onion soup and pastries. I must have walked at least 50 miles during my stay.

Each museum, cafe, and visit to the Eiffel Tower taught me a little more about myself. I am no longer the insecure and dependent 18 year old I was when I first came to Missouri Southern, but now a 21 year old who is independent, confident and educated.

The seminars gave me the opportunity to get a taste of what studying abroad is like. Listening to professionals speak from all over the world about my prospective profession was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I didn’t learn something new every day. I learned 20 new things every day. Paris made me into a map-reader, crepe connoisseur and metro expert. Prioritizing the events of the day so that nothing was missed was fun and challenging. To-do lists have always been my thing, so making a new one every night at 2 a.m. could not have been more exciting.

It is so hard to pick one favorite memory from a trip like this. I don’t have a favorite, and I am being completely honest when I say that.  It is impossible to choose between the Eiffel Tower, Pere Lachaise cemetery, Notre Dame, the catacombs, Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Sacre Coeur, Latin Quarter, Shakespeare and Company, Versailles and the countless cafes I visited.

So yes, I could have been like some of my peers in the airport coming back from the beach or watching television at home, instead I toured an up and coming television station. Most people might not understand the excitement of that, but I was like “a kid in a candy store.”

It was refreshing to get away from the usual crowd I hang out with and meet a totally new group of people. Long trips can sometimes make or break friendships, but an already good friend of mine became a great friend over the course of the trip.

The iPhone I am usually so dependent on was tucked neatly into a suitcase and not thought of again until landing in the states.

Paris exceeded my expectations and with graduation approaching next December, and my time at Southern coming to an end, this was a great way to learn and challenge myself.

My advice to anyone given the opportunity to travel abroad for any length of time would be to forget all things holding you back and go.

Paris will never be forgotten, what happens there definitely doesn’t stay there, it will be a subject in the stories I tell and the memories I have for the rest of my life.