Italy was fun, but I was so happy to get to a country that had street signs that I could understand. Nice, France was upon me. My French was still at a beginner’s level, but at least I could read restaurant menus and understood exactly what I was ordering to eat. In Italy, if I didn’t have my family with me to translate my every word, I would’ve probably starved to death.
With four bottles of prosecco in my suitcase and a 2012 edition Oxford French pocket dictionary, I was ready to take on France. After getting off the train from my six-hour ride from Pisa to Nice, I felt a sense of freedom. I was on my own for the first time since I’d landed in Europe, I had my own apartment waiting for me, and I could experience this beautiful country on my own terms, in my own time and pace.
The first few days consisted of taking constant foot tours to learn about my surrounds, brushing up on my French, and sleeping off my jet lag. My professor and my classmates from my study abroad group got to Nice three days after I did. This is when I met Sammy.
I woke up on the morning of my group’s arrival to a man raving outside of my apartment door about how “fabulous” the apartments were. I was introduced to this young man one afternoon when I came back from lunch with one of classmates. He was so excited and jumpy and I couldn’t figure out why. While I shook his hand, I remember thinking, “Why is he so happy?…I think we’ll get along just fine.” And we did.
Besides our love of rosé wine, we had a lot in common. Especially the love of travel. We spent the majority of our time together this past summer traveling to Paris and never missing a happy hour in Nice. Every fun, wild, amazing experience that I had in France felt better when Sammy was there to share them with me. Every day felt like a holiday and not a minute was wasted. Who would’ve thought that I had to travel over 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to find friends that crave life the way I do?
À la prochaine,