The summer of 2011, my sister and I had taken a trip to Northern France to visit our aunt, uncle, and cousin who have a summer house there. We were to stay there for a month to earn knowledge and understanding of other parts of the world. It was our vacation so we figured we might as well make it worthwhile. This trip was also my first experience of flying without my parents. It was just my 19 year old sister and I incessantly getting lost and therefore, it certainly ended up an adventure. Arriving in Northern France was nerve wrecking to me due to the fact we hadn't seen our relatives in quite a few years. Once we got to the vacation house we'd be staying in, my sister and I settled comfortably and fit right in even though we didn't speak a bit of French.
The difficulty of being in a country where you don't speak any of their language is beyond difficult. Luckily, we had our 20 year old cousin to stay with us throughout our French adventure and he remained our translator as well as our French teacher. During our stay in Port Blanc, France, we had several objectives on our "To Do" list that we were determined to make happen. One of which was horseback riding. It turned out, our Aunt was a friend of a girl who raised horses and would gladly take us out. The girl, my cousin, my sister, and I all went out to the beaches to ride her elegant horses which was probably my favorite experience there.
Thankfully, our timing in which we had arrived was impeccable. There were so many events occurring around this area of France such as French Independence Day, concerts, and antique markets. The day after we got relaxed, it just so happened to be their Independence Day in which they celebrated by having a fireworks display out in the port when it was low tide. There was also dancing and music continuously playing through the night. Then came the concert, which included traveling artists and bands from Africa. It was held in a farm field about 30 minutes away from our house. This unique concert was a site to see with the incredible amount of people that went and the all night dancing.
Finally came the outdoor antique market where people of the town would set up tents and booths to sell anything they had that were family heirlooms or just trinkets from the past. Going to this antique market really showed the true culture they had and held dear. Each booth showed a passion for something whether it was a photographer selling old-fashioned cameras or someone selling their life collection of old record albums. Out of the many things I learned in France, the most important is my appreciation for French culture and manners. The experience I had there will never leave me and the people I met will forever be in my memories. Hopefully, one day we will return to this small town of traditions.
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