About time! / by Hannah Harley

| A blog post explaining my reasoning behind returning to Paris | With 68 days until lift off, the visa process is still proving to be an intense and overwhelming process. But despite the difficulties, it's getting done! Huge thank you to the kind notary, my sweet parents, and everyone else who has been helping me along the way!!

That's my little update. But I figured that I might as well offer you the story and reasoning as to why I'm spending four months away from my friends and family in a country where I don't know anyone or speak the language nearly as well as I should.

This story traces back to 2006 when my sister decided to showcase her softball abilities at the Queen of Diamonds Showcase. As I aged up and became eligible for them, I did the showcases, tournaments, and eventually I was invited to join the group of the players that go with the organizer of it all, Mr. Kirt Whiteside, and his organization to the Netherlands and Paris to play a softball tournament against European players. So without too much hesitation, my sister and I headed to Paris in January 2011.

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Above: Me in Jan 2011 with the team Cup Trophy.

We decided to go a little earlier than everyone else in our group. We wanted to get a chance to see more of Paris, so we added 5 days to the trip. We were fairly young; my sister was 21, and I was 17. (Huge shout out to my parents for allowing this to happen!) My sister and I were (and still are) best friends, so we ended up having THE most fun.

The decision to bring my camera was one that I made the morning of our departure. I am forever grateful that I chose to bring it (despite my over protectiveness of it). Needless to say, it was the right choice.

I was extremely jet lagged our first day there. In fact, I fell asleep in 7 different locations. Our second day, we traveled to Versailles. I was still exhausted, but as soon as I saw the grand palace... I was in love. The building and the grounds were so incredibly photogenic. It felt impossible to take a bad photograph. (Don't worry - I did.)

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And it was right there that I fell in love with photography and decided to pursue it. Standing in the Hall of Mirrors in complete awe of the beauty surrounding me.. I fell in love.

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On that day, my sister managed to capture this image without my knowledge and showed it to me before I went off to college two years later. She broke her camera approximately 15 minutes after taking this photo.

I ended up taking over 3000 photos of Paris and the Netherlands. I came back with the intention of studying photography in college, and I knew I'd have to return to Paris. It was only a matter of time.

Almost four years later, I'll be returning to the city that started it all. I'll be returning to the city that got me into photography and pointed me towards Point Park University. In turn, photography and Point Park have given me incredible opportunities and friends. That trip absolutely changed my life, and I am continuously grateful for it.

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166465_495940822033_6683480_nTop: The outside of Versailles Below: My teammates with one of the Netherlands teams

 

Thanks for stopping by and checking out the blog!! :)