This summer I was given the opportunity of a life time– to travel for sixteen days through France. I don't think pictures or what I wrote in my journal will ever really show how grateful I am to have been able to visit a country as rich in history as France. I learned so much and saw so many different things that it was impossible to keep track. Our tour guide, Alexandra, was a wealth of knowledge. She was kind enough to plan surprise stops that weren't on the itinerary but equally if not more fun. Those stops were places that American tourists usually ignored. She brought us to a cookie factory, where she explained that the cookies were like a comfort food and reminded her of her childhood.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
It was wonderful to have someone share that kind of personal story with us. Our driver, Frank, was also very sweet. He took us to a town where he would spend his childhood vacations. That was one of my favorite stops.
We stopped in a place called Sisteron, where we ordered our first French meal without our teachers help. The waitress didn't speak English at all, but with the help of a kind older gentleman and hand gestures, we were able to order the best cheese sandwiches and water lunch of our lives. We went to Monaco where we saw a "grand bebe", almost got lost, and saw the changing of the guards. We went to a perched village called Eze. We swam in the Mediterranean Sea. I saw where Van Gogh painted "Cafe Nuit". I went to the Pont Du Gare, and Avignon, the Dune to Pila, Bordeaux, the Ladies Chateaux, and Mont St. Michael.
Some experiences I had brought tears to my eyes, like hearing the monks of Mont St. Michael pray, or seeing the graves at Normandy Beach. Some experiences like the wine tasting in Bordeaux or exploring the pirate town of St. Malo are some great adventures that I will be telling people for years to come. Or when we went to Rouen, and I saw where Joan of Arc was burned, and the chuch that now comemorates her.
This trip for me was so much more than locations though, it was learning about the people and learning about myself. There were cities where I could have sworn I had stepped back in time. I could have stayed in France for a life time, there is just so much to explore and learn.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.