August 7, 2017

My Francophile Journey

"So, what is it that inspired your passion for all things French?"

I get asked this question often, so it was fun to truly pause and reflect on my francophile journey. Anyone that knows me knows of my passion for all things French. I study the French language. I decorate my spaces with Eiffel Towers and fleur de lis. I read about France constantly. I dream of travel in France and want to make it a priority to get there as often as I can. I gravitate toward others with similar passions for all things French. But where, you ask, did this deep seated love of all things French originate?

(Around our home.)

I remember being 11 years old and getting my first taste of the French language in a trimester long introductory French course with Mlle Zink. This was followed by a trimester of introductory German and a trimester of introductory Spanish, but I was antsy to get back to French. I knew immediately this was the language for me. I remember wandering the aisles of Target with my mom and picking up a silver Eiffel Tower lamp base for my bedside table (I still have it). This started a very intense Eiffel Tower collection that continues to this day. It has become a tradition for family, friends and students to give me Eiffel Tower gifts from ornaments to notepads to tea sets. 

(Gifts I received from my 2nd grade students.)

I think this paints a pretty clear picture of what France was for me in the beginning. More than anything, it was the symbol of a dream. I knew Paris was this beautiful city full of pastries and fashion and incredible monuments. I dreamed of travel. I dreamed of a world outside of what I experienced in my every day life.

As I continued my studies in middle school and through all four years of high school, that passion became rooted in a love of the French language. I loved that it was a language of beauty, and the elegant way words rolled off my tongue. I got my first opportunity to travel to Paris on an EF Tour when I was 16. It was everything I had dreamed of and more. At 18, my family hosted a French exchange student from Lyon, and then I traveled to stay with her and her mom the following summer. It was incredible experience immersing myself in the language and culture. I continued my studies through Sophomore year of college (minoring in French), and then picked back up last fall at the Alliance Française de St. Louis I believed everything sounded better in French, and I still do. This coming fall, I will begin to work toward my dream of finishing my degree en françaisI have always wanted to learn more and more with an ultimate goal of fluency in French.

(Everything really does sound better in French.)

As I grow into the adult version of me, those original reasons for loving all things French remain, but a new and deeper meaning has emerged. For me, France is now also about a way of living. I admire the way the French take pleasure in life's simplicities. I admire the way they value time with family and friends and create clear work/life boundaries. I admire their passion for aesthetics in the home and in style. I love their never ending thirst for knowledge and their commitment to keeping the personal, personal (the French love an air of mystery). This passion that was once a symbol and then a love of language became intertwined with a desire to explore cultures other than my own and ultimately live well. This idea of living well has now manifested in a passionate journey to create the life of my dreams. 

I hope this post helped to answer this question for all of those who have been wondering. Fellow Francophiles, it would be so fun to know about the origins of your passion for all things French. Comment or e-mail me at I would be delighted to hear your story!

Warm wishes from me to you.
Merci, always, for being here,

PS: After writing this post, I was inspired to contact the teacher whose class created the spark that ignited my passions (15 years ago). We have a coffee date in just a few weeks. :) I truly believe that when you are pursuing your passions and building the life of your dreams, connections and opportunities present themselves in unexpected ways. This is one more example of that for me. À bientôt! 


  1. Bonjour Lauren! I'm a Francophile from New England now living in Paris, France. As much as I love reading French literature or Parisian novels, it's so incredible experiencing French culture firsthand. I haven't been to Lyon yet, but my boyfriend went to business school there and would love to live there full-time. Thanks for sharing your story, looking forward to following your journey :)

    1. Mia, enchanté! How fabulous! Do you speak French? :) I am so happy you are here!


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