Aero: Kimberly Gage – France 2015 – Epilogue

Aero: Kimberly Gage - France 2015 - EpilogueCreative Commons Image via The LEAF Project

Aero: Kimberly Gage – France 2015 – Epilogue
Creative Commons Image via The LEAF Project

Aero: Kimberly Gage – France 2015 – Epilogue


Kimberly Gage

After returning home from this trip, I really want to engage myself more in events that are going on in the world. I don’t want to dismiss anything just because it is happening “over there” and “not on my soil.” My soil now is Earth, and anything on Earth is my land, my home. I want to become more globally in tuned with international affairs, interact and engage with them. If I could volunteer for an organization at any point in the future, I will gladly do it and sign up within a heartbeat. Now that I know what to expect with travel, I will be more prepared than I thought I was prior to this trip.

I discovered that I have the ability to do anything I want; autonomously I can now take action for myself. I used to look to others for guidance but now I have a sense of confidence I didn’t have before. I used to hesitate and put things off because I was indecisive or had other thoughts. When I have the opportunity to take action, I will do it with confidence in my step. I have missed out on so many things before this trip that I won’t be able to get any of them back. Starting from this point forward, I am a new person who will treasure time with others even when there is work to be done. I don’t want to revert back to my old self who was trapped by her work. I want to keep this essence of freedom and interaction with others because it can ultimately lead to the expansion of my creativity; my horizons have been expanded and I want to see and experience more in my life. I want to see what else is out there! I don’t want to see the shadows on the cave walls of Plato’s Cave Allegory, I want to be the person who breaks my chains and seeks the source of the lighting and the shadows. I don’t want to go back to seeing in tunnel vision, focusing on only the small daily activities of my life, I want to see the whole picture. At the end of my 100 years, I want to say that I was able to live a life full of adventures and have become a wise and knowledgeable individual who inspires others with my stories.


ML@FLCC France 2015 Flickr Photo Gallery

I don’t know if I have a positive or negative experience that stands out above the rest. I guess the worst experience was having an electronic device taken away from me at the school, but even then that was minimal. The next worst thing had to be getting searched at each TSA checkpoint twice getting back into the US, but again that was minimal at best. The next worst thing after that would be the 6 hour layover time from Philly to Paris. The heat was unbearable and I was a mess even before I boarded the 8 hour flight to Paris. Above all the best sensation was when we landed in France; I remember thinking oh my God! I made it to France! Then seeing all that France had to offer, being able to interact with my host family and their friends, eating traditional French dishes, cheeses and wines. Overall, these memories outweigh the negative ones I mentioned above a million to one.

Returning home at the end of the trip was one of the more difficult things I have had to do in a long time. Not only was I leaving a wonderful country, but reality was fast approaching with the inevitable deadlines and homework assignments to catch up on.

I am so glad I went on this trip and got to experience life outside of my native country. I got to step outside that door of my comfort zone and got my feet wet. From now on, each footstep will create a path that all started with signing up for this study abroad course.

Kimberly Gage
LEAF Contributor