Beautiful, Foreign Land - My Family Travels

 “The adrenaline builds,

World starts caving in

Smaller and smaller.

Sounds around you.

Trembling with excitement.

Looking forward to

This foreign,

Beautiful land.


You are greeted by a family,

Welcome and warm.

Automatically feel secure and safe

In this foreign,

Beautiful land.


You’ve always dreamed of this,

Pinch worthy places:

The illuminating Eiffel Tower,

Steaming feasts around a small table,

Smiling faces upon the

Streets so old and full of life.

Experiencing this foreign,

Beautiful land.


Feeling the culture,

Meeting new friends

From around the world.

Learning about the remarkable history.

Living this foreign,

Beautiful land.


Saying goodbye:

Brings a tear of sorrow.

Unforgettable moments of


Fields of gold

And boat trips.

France never leaves you.

Becoming this foreign,

Beautiful land.”

Before visiting the foreign, beautiful land of French city and country with my class, I wrote this poem in excitement of my voyage. We were to spend a week with the ISE program traveling amongst France’s finest sceneries: the sparkling Eiffel Tower, the aquamarine Mediterranean Sea, the magnificent Pont du Gard, and many other breath-taking places. With this, we were also to stay with a French family and truly experience the beautiful culture of the people. Because this trip was the first time I’d ever been out of the country, I was full of different emotions: I was excited to explore the world, nervous to speak the language, and ready to experience a trip of a lifetime.

 While in France, I experienced moments that I would call to be “pinch-worthy.” These moments, few and rare, should be embraced as though they are sacred. These moments are memories that last forever; they rest in your soul and are always with you. The first “pinchable moment” I experienced was the last night in Paris with my class. After a sunset boat trip down the Seine River, we went on an evening walk to say our final goodbyes to the beautiful city of lights. We stopped on a bridge to watch the Paris scene adjust to the oncoming nightlife. Here, I leaned against the rough wall and took in my surroundings: the golden Eiffel Tower, a church building with intricate design, city lights blinking on and off, and a boat gliding across the dark blue ripples. Above, the moon was smiling down on us, its round shape a prominent object in the sky. Right as I thought it couldn’t get any better, the Eiffel Tower began to sparkle in the dark. The twinkling lights of Paris lit a light in my heart – I love this city. 

I didn’t just experience a moment like this in the city of love, I experienced it everywhere I went. From walking on cobble-stoned streets with snow-like flowers of fuchsia and violet hang above me to watching the sun plunge into the sea while on an empty dock with my friends, the feeling never left the inside of my chest. 

Even during my family stay, I experienced “pinchable moments.” Though communication was rocky at times, we always managed to understand each other. In the end, I felt as if I was one of their own – laughing at the dinner table, helping around the house, and playing with the youngest brother. As I was saying goodbye to my new family, I felt a tug in my heart – I love the French.

My trip to France has been an experience I will never forget. I went feeling nervous and excited, I left wanting to go back. This country is a beautiful, foreign land; this country – I love.

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