Kayla Sossin is officially the first TFT Traveler of the Month for December! Kayla is a veteran TFT traveler who has been on numerous trips with us since the summer of 2008, when she traveled to France and Italy. Congratulations Kayla, and we look forward to traveling with you again in the future!

“My first view of Paris was from a plane window in July 2008. As the captain announced our descent, I pressed my face up against the window, and waited until the earth unfolded before me.  Bit by bit parts of the city came into view. I saw the Eiffel Tower, Montmarte and the Seine from the plane, and as we moved closer to the city, my excitement escalated to the point that I was, quite literally, bursting from my seat with excitement, much to the amusement of my fellow passengers and my new TFT friends. What a great first impression.

The next few days were like a dream. With TFT I was able to explore the city, immerse myself in the culture, and feel like a true Parisian, despite my terrible, broken French. In fact, a few days into the trip, I felt so comfortable in the city that I attempted to have a short conversation with a Frenchwoman who was in the line behind me in a little boutique. Turning to her, a bit nervous, I stammered, “Nous sommes allons dans le premiere etage.” She looked at me with one of the most perplexed faces I have ever seen, and in impeccable English, responded: “I do not know what you are talking about.” She then turned to her friend and said something in rapid French. I blushed, and managed to blurt out, “Je suis Canadian!” (I am Canadian), and ran away. What I had told her makes no sense in French, and in English quite literally translates to “I are going to the first floor,” which an English speaker could decipher, but in French, it is just embarrassing. Thankfully, I had my newfound friends to laugh with me, and a bunch of counselors to tell me what I should have said instead. 

When the trip ended, I was so upset. I had made such amazing friends and I had fell in love with Paris and Nice (we spent a week in Paris and a week in the south of France); I didn’t want to leave! When I returned home a few weeks later (I went on to another amazing trip, Cinque Terre Community Service), I found that I felt much more confident, mature and educated. I had traveled the world, not as a tourist, but as traveler. The friends I made on the Paris & South of France trip are still some of my best friends today, three years later. I also have made even more incredible, close friends on my other four trips over the past few years, and the memories that I have made with them and with TFT I will never forget.”