If you’ve followed along on my journey for a while, you’ll know I’m slightly obsessed with France. I was twenty-three years old when I visited for the first time, spending two weeks with a french friend and her family after a semester abroad in Uganda and Rwanda. Since then, it’s been the one destination I’ve returned to over and over again.
After getting my DNA analyzed at ancestry.com, I was fascinated to learn of the dominant French lineage in my blood. I always knew I was half french, but I didn’t expect the story my DNA would tell or the discoveries they would unlock from family members. I learned that my great-great-grandfather took a boat from France to Canada as a priest, and was a dominate member in the French Acadians colony (a french settlement on the far east side of Canada with a very distinct history). I learned about what he went through, about the family he eventually had, and how generations later my grandparents (both descendants of French Acadian settlers) would find each other and continue the strong French presence in my blood.
As I learned these stories (and many others), I recognized that maybe there really is something inside our blood or ancestry that connects us to certain places in the world. Because I felt deeply connected to France far before I knew any of this history, now I just had an idea why. Maybe there is something that explains that moment of stepping of a plane, feeling “home” even though it’s our first time in that city or country. I still can’t explain my love for France better way than that, it just feels like home.
Below are images from a few weeks in France while I was shooting at boutique hotels for The Perfect Hideaway as well as moments and places I didn’t want to forget.