Photo Essay 2013

Nhu Nguyen

Nhu Nguyen


The Summer I Found Myself When I Didn’t Know I was Lost

My summer of 2013 is full of the kind of stories you tell your grandchildren about. What did I do during that summer? Well, where do I begin? In Pamplona, I ran with the bulls and was one of the few that made it into the arena and touched a bull. In Venice, I explored the labyrinth dark alleys and canals. In Rome, I saw the ancient ruins all around the city; met an Italian man who took me to the beaches of Southern Italy where we swam from beach to beach during the days and at night we danced under the stars as music was being played at a discotheque nearby. In Paris, I met a guy in my hostel that drank wine with me until we could barely keep our eyes open; and as fate had it, I missed my train leaving the next morning and found him nearby. What followed was a perfect day exploring Paris together and attached a “lovelock” on the Pont de l'Archevêché — a bridge near Notre Dame Cathedral. And what about Germany? What kind of adventures does one have there? Two words: autobahn and motorcycle. The 150 miles per hour is an enthralling ride, which I may be too afraid to ever risk doing again. London was by far my favorite city though. I loved the people, the atmosphere, and the cleanliness of the city. In London, my personal tour guide and I walked around for 7 hours looking at all of the monuments. We went to Wimbledon and watched history be made when one of their own won the tournament. I even crashed a birthday party where everyone had so much fun that they didn’t want to go home—they fell asleep on the couches and the floor! Last, but certainly not least, my adventures of studying abroad in Toulouse, France was unbelievable. My program included people from all over the United States, as well as French citizens. We bonded through our studies during the week and we bonded through our outings around the cities around us. I met people through my program that I consider good friends of mine now. Without the opportunity to study abroad, I would not have been blessed to know them. My summer of 2013 will always have a special place in my heart—the program, the places, and the people.


Image 1

At the Palace of Versailles gardens. The most beautiful and magnificent gardens I have ever seen in my life.


Image 2

Stopped to take a picture while riding our bicycles in London. Even the apartment buildings are beautiful there.


Image 3

A picture of my friend I took after we ran with the bulls and into the arena in Pamplona. Moments before they released the bulls into the enclosed arena!


Image 4

I walked through the beautiful labyrinth that Venice offers. It is amazing how getting lost can be so intriguing and exciting.


Image 5

We met and spent a whole day with each other in Paris. If I was ever in a fairytale, he would have been my prince charming. We ended our day by attaching a lock this famous bridge and only we have the keys to unlock it.