Shout It

Anything can be cause for celebration. You don’t have to graduate from law school or land a business deal to blow up balloons. If you want to pump your fists in the air for no reason other than that it’s Tuesday at 4pm and you made it through the day, know that you have my full support. Do the dance, I sure am. 

Here are the small moments of life in Aix — snippets that deserve to be celebrated. And I’m willing to bet that you, wherever you are, you have moments like this too. I’ll bring a cake if you hang the streamers.

Takin’ off the shy mask

The beautiful thing about coming abroad? No one knows you, so you can be whoever you please, within reason (i.e. not Gweneth Paltrow, regrettably). No, but seriously. I’ve been more on the shy side for almost my entire life, it’s a pattern that can be hard to break when you’re living the same life with the same people, but no one that I’ve met here knows a dang thing about it. I am just Sarah, the girl from Pennsylvania who decided she’d like to pack her life up for four months. There is victory in decisions like those — Change is such a beautiful thing like that. 

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Some of the CEA girls and I after attending the Nice Carnival! The main event was the “Bataille des Feurs,”or flower battle, which meant we could collect these sweet bouquets during the parade IN ADDITION to straight up dancing on the sidewalks for 2 hours while the floats and characters processed. Yeah, I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon, either.

Saying yes to the rest

This one’s for the day trips that took a backseat to cooking spaghetti with a friend. Or even deciding a tea date with myself and a book at a café (sans Wifi) is worth more than scrolling Pinterest for 20 minutes in my bed with a million other things on my mind. Real rest is such a personal thing but it couldn’t be more important, especially in a new country where pretty much everything is foreign, choosing to do something just for me every once in a while is worth more than jetting off like a dirt-cheap Ryanair flight every time the opportunity arises. 

At one of my favorite spots in the city — an bookstore/coffee shop called “Book in Bar.” Their tea menu is in-cred-i-ble. More on this little place later, for sure.

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Relaxing on the beach in Nice is one of my fondest memories of the trip. Isn’t it wild that sometimes we get the most out of the times when we do the least?

Drawin’ maps

That woman with the chic trench coat who stopped you on the way to school to ask where the nearest pharmacy is? Or maybe how to get to restaurant so-and-so, the one with the lamb special on Friday night? Yeah, she picked you because you looked like someone who’d know. Like a local who should be celebrated for being the cartographer you are.

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These streets used to be a maze — sometimes they still are. But a beautiful maze, no?

 When you CRUSH that 3-bite minimum

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#Homestayperks: amazing food — that you cannot choose. Makes it a lot easier to try new things when not doing so would be an offense!

Eggs and tomatoes. Tomatoes and eggs. 10 eggs and 3 ripe tomatoes on the vine. There is literally no way to say these two foods that would make them appeal to me, and both have a nasty little habit of showing up to party at dinner. And although I’m not one to pretend, I think it’s important to make an effort to try new foods even if it’s something you would’ve never picked up at home. And you know what? Eggs and tomatoes aren’t quite as bad as I made them out to be. Still not good, but maybe I’ll just have a few pieces of Monoprix chocolate when I get back to my room afterwards. We do what we gotta do.

Sarah S. is the Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger in Aix-en-Provence, France. She is currently a Sophomore studying English Non Fiction Writing & French at University of Pittsburgh.

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