The Art of Writing and The Truth About Foreign Languages

Bonjour. Je m’appelle Whitney. C’est l’hiver.

That’s what I remember after three years of French and a trip to Europe. And quite frankly, I had to look up how to say some of that anyways. I’m a fraud, whatever.

I did actually take three years of French in High School though, before my best friend and I dropped the class senior year because it was getting too hard. And by too hard I mean, we weren’t learning colors and numbers anymore and playing games. On my sixteenth birthday however, I was looking out the window of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. It was a school trip, but I doubt I learned a thing.

I hate to say it, but memory fades, and I can’t quite remember everything from that trip. I wish I would have taken notes, and written everything down so it wouldn’t have had the chance to leave me so quickly. I didn’t do that though. I took pictures, hundreds of pictures, which are somewhere at my parent’s house, in photo albums or boxes. I kept two with me though; the Eiffel Tower in the day, and at night, side by side in an orange frame. It hangs above my TV in my dorm, where I can catch a pretty shitty side-view from my bed.


I’m not really sure why that is the only memory I choose to display from such an amazing trip. Nonetheless, it hangs there bragging about where I have been all by itself. It hangs there to remind me of the place I want to return to. It hangs there in memory of Madame Grote, who passed away from kidney cancer this past year. It hangs there to scold me about the fact that my parents are probably still paying off that trip. It hangs there in place of all the things I should have written, but didn’t. Although, it doesn’t mean I still can’t, and maybe, you’ll get to read about them someday.

Until then, Au Revoir!




  1. Would you ever like to relearn French? Maybe on your own time? Or do a scrapbook of the trip to Paris? Or if you’re not into that, simply writing on the back of the pictures is something to consider too. It’s better to save what’s left of the memories before they are completely gone.

    1. I would actually really love to re-learn French Jennifer, thank you for asking. Quite frankly, I feel like it would all come back fairly easily as well. Or I like to believe it would. I definitely should have done a scrapbook after my trip. After several of my trips actually. I think it’s like what Molly said (below) that you never actually think you are going to forget what you are experiencing that you don’t take into consideration ever making a keepsake to remember and reminisce.

  2. Bonjour!
    One thing I also deeply regret is not keeping a journal on the trips I’ve taken. I’m not sure about you, but at the time, I thought there was no way I’d forget everything I was experiencing because everything was so majestic, exciting and new. I was wrong. Like you said, little by little memories fade.

  3. I have a terrible memory, so I am always in the habit of writing things, and taking photos as often as I can. It’s not even enough for me to keep certain objects, because with time I often forget the meaning behind it. Another thing you can do while traveling is, for example, if you go to a beach, take a handful of sand and a few shells, or whatever you want. Then arrange them in a little glass jar. Then, it’s like a miniature version of your trip that you can label and display alongside other jars of other trips.

    1. That is actually such an amazing idea. And for some goofy reason I just thought of a shelf, somewhere in a house, where there are just jars and jars of different items. What a funny story that would be, or stories, ideally. And what a great idea for a new blog, magazine article, or book even. A totally different and interactive way to live, and without forgetting where you’ve been.

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