I can’t stress enough how important it is to travel alone. If you haven’t done it before you’re missing out. And it’s really cool if you’re in a place that doesn’t speak the same language as you. Speaking English, it’s hard for us to find a place that doesn’t have people speaking our native tongue, but I still encourage you to do it. Finding yourself immersed in a country, away from the tourist filled city life is completely magical.
Being a sixteen year old girl, I have only had the opportunity to travel alone inside the continental United States to visit family, but that all changed this June. I’ve always been a person that’s comfortable being by myself for periods of time, so an international trip made me more excited than nervous. I wasn’t afraid because I knew my friend Emma would be there waiting on the other side of the Atlantic, shouting my name once I arrived at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in the heart of Paris.
I lived with her family for two whole weeks which passed by in a beautiful blur. I never wanted to leave. Their home was beautiful, situated in a small city called Trouville in Normandy, which is in Northern France. Before arriving, the only thing I knew of Normandy was its World War II history and the brief description in our e-mail exchanges for the past year. The French countryside was unlike anything near my home. Its small enchanted cities, beautiful scenery, and amazing people and animals that lived there were only made better by the loving and caring host family I stayed with. Emma’s mother Seville had the most trouble with English, but they all excelled at communicating with me in spoken and unspoken ways. I truly felt like I was a part of their family.
This brings me to my second piece of advice besides traveling along: spend more time with people who don’t speak your language. You will be surprised of the deep connection you can have with them.