Bienvenue! My name is Jessica Journey and I am a recent graduate of the University of Missouri. I hold bachelor’s degrees in English, French, and Linguistics.
I created this blog to tell the story of the year I exchanged central Missouri for central France. An eager francophile and language learner, I went abroad last fall as a language assistant with the Teaching Assistant Program in France. TAPIF is “a joint initiative of the French Ministry of Education, the Centre international d’études pédagogiques (CIEP) and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.”
My experience, from learning to teach to surviving in a lonely town in the Auvergne, was hard, weird, and frustrating.
And when the time came to figure out my next move, I sat down and thought about it and decided to do it again.
In this space, I seek to share stories that are thought-provoking and amusing and above all, real. I want to balance disillusionment with joy. I want to acknowledge flaws (including my own) in a way that doesn’t damage but actually adds to joie de vivre.
So let’s get real.
Here you’ll find stories and pictures of places and people; my thoughts about language learning–both as a teacher and a lifelong learner; the challenges of assimilating to a foreign community; discussion of food and food culture; and maybe even some travel advice (learn from my mistakes).
So, my life in France. It’s not (usually) macarons and balloons, some kind of dream-fueled Dior ad. Take last year. There was a cantankerous French neighbor and an assortment of smelly cheeses. There was a rickety, brake-challenged bike. There were salads with snails; lots of blisters; dating mishaps; train woes; frustrations and joys and a strong bond of friendship forged through shared struggles. It’s simply real life–somewhere else–and I enjoy writing about it.
(See “Best of” for a sampling.)
I may be the protagonist of my own adventure, but Croissants & Conjugations, while personal, is not my diary. I hope to instead use my perspective to give readers a lens into new places and new experiences.
Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to hear from you.
Passion, drive, joy.