As I've mentioned a few times on this blog, I was lucky enough to have the chance to spend my third year of university studying in Aix (pronounced ex) en Provence, a charming town in the South of France.
To this day, it remains one of the best experiences of my life: I was living in a gorgeous city where I got to speak French everyday, I got to meet like-minded students from all around the world, I spent far more time galavanting and cafe hopping than I ever did studying and I had Europe at my fingertips. It was an almost entirely carefree time, a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will surely never experience again.
With so many fond memories of that year, the city of Aix held a very special place in my heart. Four years down the line I found myself on holiday with Ben's family in the French Alps, with Aix just a five hour drive away. I wanted so badly to re-visit the place I'd once called home but was also apprehensive; Would it still seem as magical as it once had? Would returning spoil the near-perfect image I had of the city, and of that year as a whole?
I decided to chance it, and so Ben and I made the five hour drive south. I was anything but disappointed. The city was every bit as wonderful and special as I remembered (and Ben enjoyed it too, which was a plus!) Some things had changed (like the addition of several bagel shops - four years ago bagels were nonexistent in Aix!) but for the most part it was just as it was when I left.
|Sunflowers at the market|
|Bagels are coming!|
Whether it's sharing street food with locals in Myanmar or spotting wild cassowaries in Australia, travel experiences can rarely be replicated or recreated. They're unique, one of a kind, and my year studying abroad was no exception. Be that as it may, visiting Aix this time around was a beautiful walk down memory lane, one that I got to share with Ben. And I can't ask for much more than that.