Au revoir, Paris
Two weeks of my life have never went by so fast. I cannot believe that tomorrow at this time, I will be landing in Rome, Italy ready to take on the second half of this study abroad trip. Paris has been so good to me and I am already thinking about when I might be able to return.
In the past 14 days, my eyes have been opened in ways that would have never been possible without leaving the United States. If I have learned one thing on this trip, it is that there are some things that you have to experience to fully understand; other cultures is one of them. You can read books and hear first-hand stories and study a culture, but you really don't feel or fully understand it until you experience and embrace it firsthand.
I did not realize how much I needed to get out of the States until I got here. I know that might sound bad, but hear me out. Politics aside, American exceptionalism is real. Generally speaking, a lot of Americans think that the United States is so much better than all of the other countries. America is great, but a lot of people in the world know or believe that Americans think that way and know how ridiculous is sounds.
I love America and I think our country is pretty cool. However, that doesn't mean that everything where I am from is better than every other place in this world. It is an ignorant mentality to have. Although I have never personally thought that way, I know a lot of people that do and I only wish they could take a week to experience another culture and country. It is truly the most eye opening experience for someone who has lived in a 242 year-old country their entire life.
I feel very sad leaving Paris, but I am excited about experiencing a whole new culture in Rome, which keeps me from feeling too nostalgic. This city has been nothing short of amazing and it was nothing I expected it to be in the best way possible. I hope that I am able to return sometime in the not-so-far future -- 2 to 5 years maybe?
I will miss you, Paris. Au revoir.