Jennifer De Clercq is a style enthusiast with future plans of starting her own e-business in fashion. Originally from Cannes, France, Jennifer has spent the past four years completing her Business Administration degree at the SKEMA Business School and NC State University.
Jennifer in 60 Seconds:
Current Location: Raleigh, NC
Favorite Place to Travel: London
Travel Motto: Travel keeps us more open minded
Favorite Activity: Traveling and shopping
1) What do you love most about traveling?
I love meeting new people and new cultures. Each time I visit a new place, I am always amazed about how cultures can be different but we can all learn about each other because at the end, we are all human beings. I think the more we travel and the more cultures we discover, the more enriched we become.
2) What does your ultimate trip look like?
When I travel, I usually wake up early in the morning to do sightseeing and visit cultural places and in the afternoon, I like relaxing at the beach and shopping. I like to travel to places where there are impressive historical sites that we can only see in a particular country. For instance, I visited Cancun twice because I wanted to see the Chichen Itza (Maya Pyramids). My next travel plans are to go to Thailand and Indonesia to see Buddhist Temples. To me, food is very important when you discover a new culture, so I try to carefully choose the restaurants I go in order to have the best food experience as possible.
3) What is your perfect day in your city?
My perfect day in Raleigh is going to one of their many lakes to relax and clear my mind. If I am craving a huge plate of sushi, Cowfish is my go-to. If I feel like shopping, I will head over to the Crabtree Valley Mall to see if Banana Republic has anything to offer. But if I am in a mood to study or read a book, I will go to The Hunt Library.
4) What culture has surprised you the most and why?
I think the culture that has surprised me the most is the US culture. The US culture is also the one that I know the best because I have studied in Raleigh for two years. When I arrived in the United States, I was surprised because I thought that the French culture and the American culture was very similar but there are some differences. In fact, the thing that surprised me the most is when the waiter brings the check at the restaurant and then, leaves with your credit card (it is totally forbidden in France). The tipping system was also a bit complicated to understand when I arrived in the US. Then, still at the restaurant, waiters come to fill your glass every five minutes even when it is not empty. Portions at the restaurant are also huge but at least we can take our food back home. The way American students dress is also different from the way European dress and I did not expect that because US TV shows do not portray that. American students are dressed very comfortable as if they are going to play sports.
5) WHAT'S THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM ALL OF YOUR TRAVELS?
Enjoy each moment as if it was the last.
6) WHAT IMMEDIATELY CONNECTS YOU TO A NEW PLACE?
When I travel, I usually try to bring back souvenirs or accessories that I can keep with me all the time to make me remember places I have been. For example, what I will bring back home from Raleigh are NC State products such as key rings, tee-shirts, sweaters, and tea cups.
7) WHAT ARE YOUR 5 MUST-HAVE TRAVEL RELATED ITEMS THAT YOU DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT?
My IPhone 5S to take pictures, my Ray Ban sunglasses, a large Samsonite black suitcase (because I shop a lot), my Gucci black handbag that I always have with me because it is so convenient, and my Vichy solar cream because I often travel to places where it is warm.
8) What is your next travel-related purchase?
After graduation, I will spend one month in Thailand and Indonesia. I will definitely bring back a hat to go to the beach and I will buy some tee-shirts and sunglasses there as memorabilia from my trip.
9) What is your favorite season to travel and why?
Summer is my favorite season because I am able to plan extended trips around school breaks.