“How was your stay?” you might be asked when leaving a hotel, a hospital, or a city you’ve been visiting for a period of time (but not at the end of your staycation). Like a stay, a sojourn is time spent at a temporary residence, away from home. In part because it’s unusual and French, sojourn is a less utilitarian, more interesting-sounding synonym for a stay and has its own distinct associations. A sojourn often entails travel abroad, and though it can be very short, it is most frequently measured in months, seasons, or years: a summer sojourn in Paris; a twenty-year sojourn in southeast Asia. Sojourn can therefore emphasize living or life in another place, or some particular vocational significance: academic sojourn; spiritual sojourn. It’s also used metaphorically for a life: our sojourn on earth; this earthly sojourn.
Both words refer to the expression of approval and admiration for someone. Praise suggests admiring or approving words, usually for an accomplishment or virtue: a teacher generous with praise. Adulation suggests excessive praise or uncritical devotion, often by large numbers of people—the adulation of the masses kept her in power. Adulation often has the negative connotations, present in the original Latin word, of servile flattery or fawning—perhaps inspired by wealth, celebrity, or power, rather than a more deserving accomplishment: He basked in the sycophantic adulation of his fans. However, adulation can be used more sympathetically, as when it’s paired with love: touched by the love and adulation of her fans.
Can we improve on perfect? Here we’re taking perfect in its sense of “entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings,” which can apply to things (perfect teeth; a perfect apple; a perfect throw) and, to a lesser degree, people (because nobody’s perfect). For people who have approached perfection in a profession or other role, or for a skill or trait taken to its highest possible level, consummate fits the bill: a consummate actor; the consummate liar; consummate musicianship. This word is most frequently applied to artists, performers, and politicians, but can be used of anyone with a supreme aptitude for a particular role.