The Eiffel tower at sunrise, taken from the Pl...
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If we live truly, we shall see truly. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not everyone wants to travel the world, but most people can identify at least one place in the world they’d like to visit before they die. Where is that place for you, and what will you do to make sure you get there?

(Author: Chris Guillebeau)


This is a really difficult question for me and one that I’ve asked myself a million times. The good thing is that every time I ask myself, I usually come up with the same three answers:

  1. France
  2. Ireland
  3. The United Kingdom

Why these three countries? Well, for starters, they’re my roots. My ancestry is Irish, Welsh, and French primarily with a few other ethnicities thrown in. I’ve always felt connected to these three parts of myself and want to celebrate that heritage by experiencing those countries natively.

But if I had to choose just one, it would be France. The culture, food, film, and history of the French people has always fascinated me and when I think about France, there are countless things I want to see. Lavender fields. Versailles. The Champs Elysees. The Eiffel Tower. Montmartre. Real pastries. But it’s not just about the things I want to see.

It’s also about language. The French language is beautiful and I’ve been trying to learn it (sort of) for years. I took four years of French in high school, but took a step backwards when I had to take Spanish in college. I can’t say that I’ve been dedicated to the study of it since I was a teenager. Now that I’m out of college, I want to put more effort into learning French. I never expect to be fluent, but if I could carry on a conversation well, I’d be happy.

How will I get there? Saving and practice. I will save as much as I can so that I can go to France, even if I have to go alone. I will learn the language and practice so that I can experience France without the stress of being seen as yet another “stupid American.” Yes, I will be a tourist, but my trip won’t just include the major sights. I also want to see the French countryside and experience how the French live. I want to ease myself into their lifestyle, taking time to just live. The French people can see the beauty and pleasure in just being. There’s an art to that and it’s something that Americans  don’t understand. We’re constantly moving. In France, you can just be.

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