Saying goodbye to Paris

Published 9:31 am Saturday, July 8, 2017

By Madeleine Fuselier

Hi there! I am a life-long Orangeite who is currently living in Paris. I am spending this year teaching English, improving my French, and exploring France (and some of its neighboring countries) before heading to college this fall. Keep reading to find out what’s been going on “Meanwhile With Madeleine.” Thanks for allowing me to share my adventures with you!

Well, I’ve made it back to Texas. It’s great to be back with family and friends, but it’s bittersweet. I already miss Paris and the people who made it home. This year has been amazing, and I’m sad that it’s come to an end. However, I’m excited for what lies ahead, and hopeful that even greater adventures await.

I’ve always struggled with accepting the idea that “everything happens for a reason,” but that notion has felt very real this year. It wasn’t always easy, and I didn’t always see it in the moment, but all of the experiences I had and all of the people I met came into my life with perfect timing and have changed me for the better. I can’t believe how much I’ve seen and learned this year. The world feels smaller but also infinitely larger than it did before.

Moving to France for a year was not an easy decision. I had to ignore the little voices in my head (and the actual people) telling me that it was too dangerous, that I should wait until I was older, that I had no idea what I was doing. This year has not been without its difficulties and hardships, but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it has been completely worth it all. I’ve learned that a big part of life is deciding which risks are worth taking, and this risk has definitely paid off.

I often hear from people who would like to travel to another country, but are too afraid to do so.  If this sounds like you, I strongly encourage you to take the leap. I know there is a lot of worry about terrorism right now. As far as that issue is concerned, you are much more likely to be struck by lightening than you are to die in a terrorist attack. And if we allow the fear of terrorism to keep us from traveling (or doing anything else for that matter), then it fulfills its intended purpose. As for other fears concerning travel, I can’t promise that nothing will go wrong. I can’t say that you won’t get lost from time to time, that you won’t struggle to get past a language barrier, or that you won’t be pushed outside your comfort zone. However, what I can say for certain is that no matter where you may choose to go, you will come out of your time abroad with a better understanding of the planet we share. I know I have.