Faith Carrière is a university student that has been bitten by the travel bug. At age 24, she has lived long term in 3 different countries, and has visited almost 30 different countries altogether. She is currently residing in France, where she is working on her Master’s degree in Languages & Intercultural Management.
Q: Hi Faith, thanks for taking the time to talk with us! Can you tell our readers a bit more about yourself?
A: Hello, my name is Faith, and I was born and raised in The Pas! Although I loved the area and its people, I always felt the need to escape and to discover the world. I spent my summer days out at the lake, staring at its beauty, but saying to myself: "If this little corner of the world is this beautiful, what else it out there?"
Luckily, my family and I have always traveled - my first big trip was when I was only 2 years old, when my grandparent's and I packed up our car and drove to Alaska. As soon as I was old enough to work, I got a job to fund my necessity to travel. Before I graduated from MBCI, I funded trips for myself to Quebec and Ontario (where I spent the summer on my own at 16 learning French and traveling), and to Costa Rica with the local Global Travel Club. After graduation, I was selected by the local Rotary Club to participate in their Rotary Youth Exchange as an exchange student, when I went to Germany for a year. That's where my love for travel turned into a need - since then I've been to almost 30 different countries included Sweden, Iceland, and Indonesia, all while finishing my Bachelor's degree in Toronto and starting my Master's degree in France, where I currently reside and study.
Q: How does life differ between living in The Pas and living in France?
A: Life in France and The Pas are really not comparable. I honestly feel like I'm in a different world here in France. The Pas is a wonderful place, with wonderful people. It's quiet, full of nature and peaceful. The sense of community is very strong and everyone helps each other out. In France, things happen so fast and even if I live in a small city in the north (Arras) which is probably only twice the size of The Pas, the population is almost triple. It's also a very popular city for tourists, particularly Canadian and British, so on top of the regular population, thousands of tourists come by every month.
Taking a break from it all isn't easy. There isn't a lot of nature around, at least not like I'm used to in The Pas. Also, France is so central in Europe and I'm able to travel so easily and cheaply. When I have time off from school or work, I always have to travel. When Paris is just 45 minutes away, Amsterdam 4 hours away, Brussels less than 2 hours away, there is just no excuse to stay home. For example, this weekend I'm spending Saturday in London and Sunday in Paris. Life here is very fast paced. Whenever I am able to come back to The Pas, I always look forward to relaxing.
Q: I've heard that there is a stark difference between the French language that we learn in Canada, and the French language spoken in France. Is there a big difference, and if so, was it at all difficult to convert?
A: The difference between Quebecois French and French in France is striking. Although I've spent two summers taking French courses in Quebec on top of years of French immersion at school in The Pas, nothing could have prepared me for communicating in France. The accents in Quebec are so strong, and some of the vocabulary they use are very old French words. When I used these among friends in France, I was told I was speaking like their grandparents. I quickly had to adapt in France in order to be understood. Thankfully, I never caught the Quebecois accent so this wasn't too hard. Now, when I chat with my friends from Quebec, they jokingly tell me I speak funny.
I guess you could compare the difference with Americans and British people. A lot of the bases are the same, but the accents are completely different (at times making it hard to understand), and many words are completely changed in meaning. For me, it's very interesting to have been on both ends of the language tunnel. I am able to understand both Quebecois people and French people perfectly - which makes it very interesting to listen in on a conversation between Quebecois and the French! However, French immersion definitely made the transition to life in France a lot easier.
Q: Do you see yourself returning to The Pas, or Canada in the future?
A: Although I would love to visit more often, I am not sure if I could see myself living in The Pas or Canada anytime soon. I love Canada so much, and I'm sure I annoy my friends here with random Canadian facts or by telling them some awesome things about Canada.... but there is so much left out there that I haven't yet seen. I have lived in 3 different countries long-term, but that's only a small slice of the world. As of right now, I'm 24 years old and I don't feel even close to being able to settle down in one place. Only time will tell!
Q: Aside from family and friends, what do you miss the most about The Pas?
A: Easy. NATURE! I really didn't appreciate nature until I left Canada. Of course, France has countless beautiful places such as Les Alpes or La Dune du Pilat, however it isn't easily accessible to me. In The Pas, nature was just a stone throws away. Bear or moose sightings are common in The Pas, but in France, I'm lucky if I see a wild rabbit. I realize now that the abundance of nature in and around The Pas was something that I took for granted. I really look forward to coming back to The Pas just to have a hike through the caves, or to swim in the icy cold water that I love so much.
I also really miss the sense of community. Unfortunately, I left before I was really able to get involved in the community, but I always admired it. Here in France, with a population so large, there are many different communities within a single geographic area which makes the sense of unity very slim. In The Pas, I always felt that everyone around me was there to help me if I ever needed. Here in France, I don't feel this as strongly.
I hope no one in The Pas takes these wonderful aspects for granted! Enjoy it and take a dip in the lake in my honor.
Thank you very much, Faith! We here at thepas.com wish you all the best in your future studies!