Unplanned Memories (Vivian in France)

Some of the best days in life are the ones that were completely unplanned and spontaneous. Sassenage was one of those days.

Our group got to meet fellow Americans who were also studying abroad in Grenoble at the time. This particular group that we met had been there for an entire semester and would soon be leaving. I first heard about Sassenage from a gentleman in that group when a few of us when out to dinner in Grenoble for one of my friend’s birthday. Being that they had been in this area for months now, they have had a lot more time to explore the town as well as the surrounding city. Sassenage was one of his favorite spots to hike and I just had to see why.

Located slightly to the West of Grenoble, Sassenage is a small town easily access from the tram system around the area and a short bus ride. A few of my friends were excited about a small day trip to explore something new. We were equipped with proper shoes, plenty of snacks and we set off on an adventure. Getting off the bus, we had no idea where we were supposed to go so we decided the best route of action was to head in the direction that the mountains seemed to be closest to. This turned out in our favors as we started seeking signs that pointed us towards hiking trails up the mountain.

Sassenage is known for having amazing caves but since those require a tour guide with strict opening and closing hours, we wanted to simply hike and enjoy the nature. Twenty minutes into the scenic trail, we began to hear the faint but distinct sound of rushing water. Excited that we may encounter a waterfall, we quickly moved along the trail at a brisker pace. Turning a corner, we were greeted with a magnificent opening into the side of the mountain with a gentle river of water flowing past. The sound of rushing water grew and grew until eventually, every turn we took was a brand new waterfall, each greater in size than the one before. After accessing that it’s safe to do so, we couldn’t help but jump in and swim behind one.

This adventure started as a simple hiking trip and ended up becoming one of the most fun days of my life. This day taught me an important life lesson that I will always remember: the best memories are made unplanned. It means that often times, we can get so carried away with structure in our lives. We’re taught that we have to always have a plan—whether it’s a plan for what you’re going to do today or a plan about what you’re doing in life and how you’re going to get there. I learned that sometimes it’s okay not to have a plan and just see where life takes you. Have faith in yourself and perhaps a little sense of adventure—maybe you’ll encounter a magnificent waterfall and jump in to enjoy it as well.

For more information about the CGIS French 230 Grenoble Program visit the MCompass program page.




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