La Parisienne, No. 5: Paris Photo Diary

While I claim to be a writer and therefore am well aware of the value and power of words, I’m going to make words sit this one out. I think the best way to share my Parisian experience in all its splendor is to allow you to see it the way I saw it: in full color, alive. So, for my fifth installment of La Parisienne, here are thirty of my best photos from my four months living in Paris.

Sincerely,

votre (américaine) parisienne

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Truth Talk: Joining a Sorority

Hey friends! Today, I felt like sitting down and writing about how I ended up in a sorority. I think the stories like mine are really important in the grand scheme of Greek life, because a lot of people like me don’t ever join for thinking that they don’t belong. That’s what I thought, too. But that’s why I want to shed some light on my experience. Storytelling is a powerful tool for empathy and for change, and with both of those things in mind, I want to talk about this really vital piece of the puzzle that is my college experience.

In order to explain the whole story, we’re going to need to take it back a bit…to the summer of 2017, when I first moved to college.

I was on vacation in Oregon with my dad’s whole side of the family — aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents included. One afternoon, I was chatting with one of my older cousins, who had just graduated from college. She had been in a sorority at her university and loved it, and she wanted to know if I was rushing, too.

I pretty much laughed it off when she asked me, thinking that she couldn’t be serious. Me? A sorority? Not. A. Chance. You couldn’t pay me to join an organization where everyone clapped along as they sang annoyingly energetic songs from inside their big fancy house on Greek Row. In my opinion, Greek life was for the self-absorbed, party-crazy girls who had belonged to the “it-crowd” in high school. And of those three criteria, I fit zero.

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This is 20.

As of now, I am no longer a teenager.

I have been on the planet for two full decades. Weird!

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Hello again, friends! I hope your first two-ish weeks of this year have been treating you well. I’ve got lots of good content planned for the coming weeks, and I hope you are as excited as I am for 2019! But, on an unrelated note, I just wanted to pop in today to announce to the world that I have made it to 20 years old!

Now, I’m not making this announcement in hopes that I’ll get a bunch of “Happy Birthday” comments on this post (besides, my birthday was a week ago already), but because I want to take a moment or two to reflect on who I have been up until this point and who I would like to be going forward. After all, 20 is a big number! Honestly, I really like the sound of it.

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La Parisienne, No. 4: Au Revoir

Well, folks, the adventure has come to a close. I’ve been back home in California for one month. What an adventure it was.

There is so much to say that I almost don’t know what to say.

I guess I’ll begin by talking about some of my favorite things about Paris:

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What the Bible Says About Thankfulness

I love Thanksgiving. Love it. It is a day full of sitting on the couch watching the Macy’s Parade (and the dog show that follows it) and hanging out with your favorite people and eating some dang good food and wearing a cute sweater.

Perhaps the best part about Thanksgiving is that it is the doorway to Christmas season! (My family has a yearly tradition of picking out our Christmas tree and decorating the house the day after Thanksgiving.)

But all of that aside, let’s talk about thankfulness for a hot sec.

While Thanksgiving is a secular, American holiday without any true religious meaning, God still cares about thanksgiving. Now, I don’t mean Thanksgiving with a capital “T”; I mean just “thanksgiving.” They are different.

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La Parisienne, No. 3: Reflections from Halfway

I wrote this after 2 of my 4 months in Paris. I think it’s worth sharing.

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When I first arrived in Paris, I had no idea what the study abroad experience would bring. To be quite honest, I didn’t even have time to think about it! I had orientations to attend, an apartment to move into, and new classmates to meet. From the moment I stepped off of the plane in Paris, everything began happening so quickly that I found myself just taking it one day at a time.

I’m so glad I did! Having an open mind has allowed me to be amazed over and over again by the beauty of this incredible city, the fascinating Parisian culture, and the thrill of adapting to a new kind of normal.

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The 5 Coolest Things I Did During a Weekend in London

Oh, London. What fun you were. Back in September, I took a lil’ trip across the pond from Paris to London to visit a friend studying abroad there. While I was only there for less than three days, I was still able to do some really fun things! Keep reading to see the five coolest experiences of my brief trip to London!

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Coffee Shop Thoughts from Paris

I’m back, ladies and gents!

This post is a little different than most others I’ve published.

While there’s been a lot that has gone on here in Paris that I hope I’ll get around to sharing eventually, there is a more pressing issue on my heart right now.

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A Day in Fountainbleau, France

35 miles southwest of Paris lies the town of Fountainbleau, home to the Palace of Fountainbleau, an enormous 13th Century château which was once the home of the French monarchs.

Not only are the château and its gardens breathtaking, the town of Fountainbleau itself is amazing! It really embodies that famous “old France” feeling. I felt like I was in Beauty & the Beast!

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La Parisienne, No. 2: Paris is a Lady

Hello friends, and welcome back to my sorta ironic, sorta sarcastic, sorta interesting travel-diary-slash-travel-newsletter. Here, in the La Parisienne series, you will be able to read about all the cool things I’ve been doing, as well as all the ridiculous things that happen to me along the way.

In this edition, I fill in some of the gap between my journey to Paris and where I’m at now. I can’t talk about anything else until I’ve properly framed this adventure.

Enter the phrase, “Paris is a lady.”

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