Do not go to Europe if you like your sanity. I beg you! My name is Sarah Jagdip and I am a victim, happily infected by the travel bug. Picture a quiet town set in the mountains of France, the tallest evergreens and the most beautiful flowers that you’d think they’re fake. Well let me tell you I’ve been there. Yssingeaux is a beautiful, quiet town in the Auvergne region of France.
Their pride and joy is the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie (ENSP) — and rightfully so. This year I had the absolute pleasure of spending the two best months studying there while learning the art of French pastry and being completely immersed in the European beauty of France.
What better place to study pastry abroad than in France (our school was an old castle too —score)? Everywhere you turn there were boulangeries and patisseries, the air was sweet, with the smell of fresh bread on mornings and coffee brewing. It’s hard not to feel that tug at your heartstrings, how could you not fall in love?
Our day started with a 5:20am walk to school, it was a nice long walk but in Europe walking becomes part of who you are. Labs started at 6am and ended at 1pm, and everyone in class could agree that we learned so much more than pastry. It’s a way of life in France and you really feel that from the chefs, their love and passion cannot be measured. We worked with MOFs, in France the highest recognition a chef may achieve. Awesome, right? They pushed us many times beyond what we thought we could do and challenged us.
I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little obsessed with my study abroad experience. It was life-changing and mind-altering. My only wish would be for everyone to go, go wherever the wind takes you. Believe me, you’ll end up exactly where you are meant to be and that will be the moment you remember or find the person you truly are.
For now, I’m still a little heartbroken, but I have nothing but gratitude and I feel absolutely privileged to have met so many wonderful people and made a home for myself in this great country. You’ve changed me, in more ways than one, so thank you, and thank you for returning the love too.
Stay tuned to find how I ate my way through Paris!