Defne E. is currently a junior at SYA France and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Thacher School in California.
On Christmas day, my host parents, host sister and I set off to the airport to pick my mum and sister up from their long journey across the world to visit me for Winter Break. Although four months seemed like a long time when I first embarked on my journey in early September, the time really flew by quicker than I anticipated.
I was nervous for my two worlds to collide, for the past several months I had gotten used to not seeing my American family and living with my host family in France. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how naturally everything seemed to fall into place and how content both families were to meet and bond. While at first ten days seemed like ample time to see everything, the days quickly started escaping us when met with their jetlag and our aching feet.
Nonetheless, I was able to show them around Rennes for a few days. Between showing them my favourite creperies, vintage shops, and hangout spots, it felt slightly odd to feel so reassured in both the language and city when before I too was merely seeing everything in awe for the first time. After making the rounds in Rennes, we all set off for a series of day trips with my host parents. The first visit was Caen where we went to the Memorial and an American Cemetery in St. James. Although war history was a bit heavier and more emotional than the rest of our program together, it was astounding to see both French and Americans reminiscing about shared history generations later.
Our next visit lead us to Mont St. Michel, and after two school visits there earlier in the year, I truly felt like an expert and shared my extensive knowledge on the beautiful monument suspended between earth and sky, water and land, Brittany and Normandy…(thanks, JP.) Lastly, my mum, sister and I took a 7 am train to Paris on the 1st of January. A hectic day filled with metro rides, jaws dropping and 30,000 steps, this day trip was definitely the most exciting one I have ever taken.
All in all, Winter Break passed much too quickly but it was action-packed and fun while it lasted!It was great to see my family again and even more exciting that they could meet my French family and see the place I’ve been living and loving for the past few months. Time has flown by and it’s already the second half of the year… Semester 2, here I come!
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- SYA France