The bits of Paris I’m taking with me

While strolling today through the Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil, touring the Pantheon, and breakfasting on my final pastry and espresso in Paris, all I could think of was how much I’ve enjoyed this trip. I didn’t expect to become so impressed with a new city in such a short amount of time; I’ve only been here for three weeks! However, I already miss the routine I’ve developed: long, quiet mornings at a cafĂ©; exploratory walks; the presence of art in architecture, food, gardens, walls, and roads. But though I’m sad to go back home, I’m excited about the parts of this study abroad that I’ll get to keep forever.

Among the gifts I’m bringing home to my family are a few treasures for myself. I love reading, so I bought Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein and Ariel by Sylvia Plath from the charming and historic Shakespeare and Co. I’d been looking forward to going to this bookstore for a long time, and I can’t wait to keep my memories of Paris alive by reading works that I bought in the city.

I plan on doing more research on French literature once I get back. I’ve sensed a distinct reverence here for France’s beloved writers, and I’m interested to delve into their works and learn how they helped shaped the culture of a nation.

Another book I’m bringing with me is my personal journal. Throughout the trip I’ve been keeping a diary in which I catalogue my experiences and emotions while in a foreign place. Because each day here has been so busy and I’m seeing so many new things, It brings me comfort to put all of my memories on the page so that eventually I can go back and remember things I’ve forgotten about these weeks.

However, I won’t be forgetting Paris anytime soon. I’ve so deeply loved my time here that I’m already plotting ways to come back, and for much longer this time.