May 19th- A Goodbye

This is my final post about my FGX Experience. The Leeds school of business provides its students with opportunities for global experiences every year, and I am so glad that I took advantage of this first one. This was a life-changing trip for me; my first time in Europe was unforgettable. I know that I wrote in a lot of my entries that I would “never forget” something or other, but I really believe that to be true. I had so many new and exciting experiences while on this trip, and although it was almost too expensive for me, I don’t regret it at all. I am in love with this experience.

I’ve read a lot of places that experience is better than things, and I think because I kept that in mind during this trip, I was able to take it all in better than if I were to be obsessed with finding that one bit of designer clothing or the souvenirs for the 15+ people back home. I will try to carry that with me in the rest of my life too.
What a group!

I need to take a bit of time again to talk about industry. I wanted to elaborate upon some of the things I wrote in my entry on the day that we visited Airbus. I think that tourism is a large part of the French economy because as a tourist, I visited a lot of the places in Paris where tourists flock in huge numbers. I saw the money they spend on useless souvenirs and expensive tickets to do something. It’s all worth it, but they we all drop a lot of money on tourist events and activities. Because of all the tourism, more people speak English in Paris than any of the other places we visited in France. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world for a reason. For flight, I wanted to say that the process of building airplanes is slow and costly. Our guide told us that there is a four year waiting list for some of Airbus’ bigger planes, just because of the amount of orders and the amount of time it takes to fill each order. Although each plane brings in an enormous amount of revenue, this money is only brought in slowly and a chunk at a time, since it also costs so much to continue building planes. The burden, however, is not just on the French economy but on the economies in the UK, Spain and Germany as well. The profits are split between these countries too, though. Like I said before, the fashion industry is enormous in France (Paris especially), however it is often too expensive for certain people to buy French fashion or from French designers. I think this is why there is a rising prevalence of ready to wear designs. Something that should be noted, however, are that the ready to wear designs from YSL (this is the only company I’ve checked) are still incredibly expensive. I saw a plain white t-shirt with some light blue stripes on the YSL website for $300. So I guess that’s “affordable” in the world of high fashion. Finally, food. Our instructors for the cooking class that we did told us that the French are extremely proud of their food, and only produce a high quality. I know that that’s not true for everyone in France or every restaurant, but it seems that there is some standard there. I don’t know what to say, there is some sort of prestige to the phrase “french food.” It just (to me) sounds fancy and expensive, which I guess is what they are trying to achieve. I think that should be enough about industry…

Anyways, I just wanted to talk a little bit more about the trip since this is my last post.
I had a lot of really memorable moments, so it’s hard to pick just one. My most memorable and favorite business visit was to Emeric Francois. I just loved the kind of person he is and how driven he is to work with his passions, and never do anything he doesn’t like. He’s the kind of person I want to be. My favorite non-business group activity was definitely canoeing in the Dordogne. It was just such a magical afternoon, the picnic lunch was delicious, we just got to spend time outdoors in the beautiful weather and all just be with each other. It was amazing. My favorite meal was that damn ham and cheese sandwich. It was just so good. It’s just so hard to pick a favorite overall moment, but it’s a little easier to pick from categories. I feel that way about everything, even “what’s your favorite movie?”
I think that in my life, I’m going to apply the lessons I’ve learned from the trip in a few ways. I want to follow my passions like Francois. I’m going to live in the moment; I’ll always remember that experience is more important than things.objects… that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed this trip so much and it meant so much to me. Finally, I want to always keep an open mind. Without one, I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed the trip how I did. I wouldn’t have tried some of the things I tried (i.e. snails) or gone some of the places that I went (the catacombs for example). I just can’t even put into words how much this trip meant to me.

Just… A lot of memories.

Merci et je t’aime Mary Beth, John and Amanda.

-Maddie

Au revoir
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