Wednesday, May 1, 2013

From Paris to Africa: The Story of My Life in 250 Words

I've decided to hop on board the band wagon with Jenni at Story of My Life and her Blog Every Day in May Challenge! As of right now, she doesn't know who I am ;) but I have been a loyal reader for quite some time now and I'm really excited for some writing inspiration and accountability! I'm not sure I'll follow every prompt, but I'm definitely determined to write every day this month.

The first challenge is to write the story of your life in 250 words or less. As brevity is not my strong point, wish me luck! Sidenote- I made up for a lack of words in pictures ;)

* * *

I was born in Paris, France to an American mother—born in Germany and adopted by Americans from Kansas—and a French father, with a hint of Polish Jew in his otherwise French family line. My mom's birthparents were from Bolivia and Germany/Hungary. 

Little French girls on a park bench in Paris (I'm on the right)... cue the nostalgia

We moved to the U.S. when I was three years old, and I grew up outside of Boston until attending college in Washington, DC. My father and step-mother relocated to Maryland when I was twelve. I became very familiar with the Southwest flight crew on my monthly visits.

Although no one in my family was born on U.S. soil, I am an American girl at heart, shaped by my bilingual and bi-cultural background. My summers spent at my grandparents' house in Southern France remain some of my most treasured childhood memories.

A freshman in high school, I had surgery to remove grapefruit-sized tumor from my stomach. I discovered the lump myself, and while those three months of uncertainty were terrifying, I came out of the ordeal relatively unscathed and with a renewed appreciation for life.

16 years old with my best friend Emily, in the Caribbean

Over the next several years, I welcomed three half-brothers into my life, and forever lost my identity as an "only child." I forgive them ;)

Paul, who's now 10 (omg), on my shoulders in a California national park...
and Christmas with the twins, Alex and Patrick, who are now 7!

Cue the Africa-factor (and major theme behind this blog!). My junior year at Georgetown, I made the decision to study abroad in Dakar, Senegal. This experience has since shaped my academic and professional aspirations, my passions and interests, introduced me to C., and determined my current geographic location!

(Don't worry, Mom—I still plan to move back to the U.S. some day :)

And there go my 250 words, so that's the condensed version of the story of my life. I guess this blog can tell you the current story!

A few more pictures to walk down memory lane...

Inauguration 2008, an unforgettable pit stop between studying abroad in Africa and Europe. (Psssst, I <3 Obama.)
My beloved puppy, Neige, who is now ten years old. I am in love with him, and all dogs for that matter.
Snowpocalypse at Georgetown in 2010, with my college bff Isabella
Graduates! And poor pic quality because I snagged this off facebook
A jaunt to the Gambia in 2011 with some dear expat-friends
C. and I win a weekend away in a raffle! Pure joy!
A trip to Cabo Verde... beauteous!

This post was written as part of the Blog Every Day in May Challenge (2013).


  1. What an interesting life you're leading . . . so awesome! And yay for Maryland! :)

    1. Thanks for the kind comment! Life is certainly interesting at times, but can be surprisingly routine as well! I love to read and look forward to perusing your book reviews, as well as some reasons to miss the East Coast and the DC/MD area :)

  2. Those are come cool photos, especially the one of your Puppy Neige and the Georgetown snowfall. I also like your "snowpocalypse" description!

    I never studied abroad and would like to visit other countries, just to get the multi-lingual and multi-cultural experience...but I have to work and feed myself; It would be nice to find some type of teaching program or setup where I could teach abroad (although I studied art and film in college) and use the teaching job as my way to travel to difference countries and help people...but I don't even know where to start of where to look.


    1. Hi Nicole, thanks for stopping by! I can definitely give you some pointers on moving and working abroad. I totally understand the need to support yourself financially, as I was in the same boat! As much as I was drawn to programs like the Peace Corps, I needed an option that would support me. Let me know if you have any further questions... I'd be glad to share some of my experience!

      xx Kim

  3. I love your AfricaStyle posts! I lived in Nairobi for a couple years and will be doing field work in southern Africa this summer. I am so excited to be returning! Would love to visit the west coast some day but for now I guess I'll just look at your photos and stories.

    -Mary Cate

    1. I've never been to southern Africa and am dying to visit! (Kenya, too!) I was just in Uganda and was really stunned by the contrast to West Africa. I'll definitely be following along your adventures as well ;)
      xx Kim

  4. Wow! What an intersting life story! So excited and I am now following your blog


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