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.

This is how I find myself with new stories to tell, in Cannes on the Côte d’Azur, where the cows and the ancient volcanoes of the Auvergne region feel far, far away.

In this space, I seek to share stories that are thought-provoking and amusing and above all, real. I seek to balance disillusionment with joy, disappointment with joie de vivre.

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).

My life in France is not (usually) macarons and balloons, some kind of dream-fueled Dior ad. Take last year, which featured a cantankerous French neighbor and 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.

Croissants & Conjugations, while personal, is not my diary. I hope to instead use my perspective to give readers a lens into new places and experiences.

(See “Best of” to start)

Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to hear from you.