As mentioned in my bio, one of the things I am most proud of is that I lived on four different continents within four years. Starting from 2007 to 2011, I lived in Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa. Within those continents, I had the opportunity to travel to several countries and numerous cities during my stays. Traveling always leaves me feeling so fulfilled. I love getting to experience new cultures, trying new foods, building new friendships, and of course, adding a new stamp to my passport.
To keep my wonderful memories alive, I decided to start a new series for my blog called "Travel Roots." I want it to be a series that represents all the cities where I left a little piece of my heart behind. As often as possible, I am going to feature one city and post a few memories and photos. I tend to reminisce on my own a lot in my head, but I thought this would be a great way to share my perspective and experiences as well.
The first of the series is the city of Lyon in France. Lyon is known for its historical and architectural sights, amazing cuisine, silk, and the magical Fête des Lumières (Night of Lights). I lived there for four months in 2007 for a semester abroad during my middler year in college (aka 3rd year - I attended a 5 year program at Northeastern). I attended CEFAM, a business school in Lyon with mostly French students, but all classes were taught in English. I believe this is where my itch to travel internationally really began. I loved how I was living in a whole different world and although it was challenging with language barriers and cultural differences, I learned so much about myself and others. A few of my favorite memories:
- A group of friends and I were out late one night and it was pretty much sunrise when we got back. We lived above a small bakery and they were preparing for the day as we were coming back in. They weren't technically open, but they let us buy a few of their freshly baked baguettes. Words don't do the flavor and experience justice. It was simply amazing.
- I usually explored with my Northeastern or French friends, but one day, I just took my camera and walked around Lyon by myself. I called it "solo spontaneity." It was only one day, but it was one of the most memorable experiences walking around aimlessly and discovering new spots. Also on this solo day of exploring, I found an amazing little vintage shop where I scored some silk scarves and a small purse. When I went home, I looked inside the purse and there was a 10 euro bill inside!
- The Parc de la Tête d'Or was the park I visited most often. They had a lake, gardens, and a small zoo. Without thinking of the time, I loved watching the elephant move around.
- We went on an organized wine tour of all the well known vineyards in France, including the famous Beaujolais. As I stood there looking out at acres of vineyards, that's when I decided I wanted to own a vineyard when I grew up.
- Creating friendships with French locals. Towards the end of the semester, we were inseparable. I even saw some of them in New York and Boston, and one of them even came to visit me in South Africa!
- Overhearing cute French kids talking. That's all.
I could go on and on about my love for Lyon, but I can just tell you more in person if you'd like :) Here are some of my favorite photos!