I breathe adventure, I sin for travel
He tells me Paris belongs to me as I
Arch my back in triumph while
Sweat pours from suntanned skin the
Shade of café au lait, I want
To ravage his mouth, his hands, eat my way through
His stomach until I feel his heartbeat on my bottom lip
My tongue traces each freckled constellation on his
Back and he tries to make sense of my tangled tattoos with
Hands wrapped in flaxen hair, neck stretched back
Drinking champagne out of collarbones as he pins me
To the wall like a masterpiece, he says I belong in the Louvre
Barely leaving the room, crumbs in sheets, white teeth
Snapping wolfishly towards secret places
He warns me not to fall in love and I
Look at him with a Mona Lisa grin
3AM Thoughts // AKA “Je me souviens.”
Never to go on trips with anyone you do not love.
A Moveable Feast // Ernest Hemingway
Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.
// Guillaume Apollinaire
I’ve been stalling packing for ‘Dam for days but this morning I had no choice but to suck it up and get it done.
Ét voila, the essentials as per Alexa:
1) eBags small carrier filled with tees, leggings and under-things.
2) One pair regular wash jeans, one pair black jeans.
3) French passport & monies for shenanigans.
4) Sturdy padlock for hostel lockers.
5) Eye drops for… Allergies.
7) Comfy Converse for trekking the city streets.
8) Leather jacket for fall weather and fashion.
Not pictured: my embarrassingly large backpack, the numerous tickets and maps I’ve printed out, my toiletries, iPad and Nikon camera.
I’m finding it hard to believe I have less than a week left in Europe! The past five months have been a blast and I’m looking forward to ending on a high note.
“I Don’t Speak Freaky-Deaky Dutch.”
Unexpected travel surprise; upon accepting placement at a campsite in the south of France I assumed I would be forced to flex my française chops all the time. Erroneous on all counts! Turns out not only is there a massive influx of Dutch and English expats to the southern regions of France it’s also a popular vacation destination. As it is I have been hearing more Dutch than I ever expected to hear in my life over the past six weeks of high season. With my blonde hair and fair skin they automatically assume I am of Dutch descent which leaves me nodding frantically as they ramble on in their Netherlands tongue. Sadly, I have picked up zero Dutch language skills while here.
A month or so before I embarked on this trip I posted a brief description of what I’d packed. I’ve since reread said post, and I would like to make one addendum: I AM A BONAFIDE IDIOT. All the items I painstakingly purchased and packed have been collecting dust in my suitcase. I’ve been wearing the same pair of flip-flips to work on the pool every morning; I hit up a few Vide Greniers (basically an open-air thrift store that circulates from village to village each weekend AKA my utopia) and grabbed tees and hippie digs for 50 centimes each. They have been my lifesavers while coping with the intense humidity of the region AND they carry the added bonus of being tossed without remorse at the end of my trip. I could have easily, and I cannot stress this enough, cut out at least half of what I brought with me, but if I’m being brutally honest with myself 3/4 of my precious packing could have been left behind. This travel rookie is slowly learning the ropes. When travel blogs tell you, “Take whatever you’ve packed and remove half,” they are not messing around. Oh, how the ignorant flounder.
Reaffirming My Faith in the Kindness of Strangers
I mentioned earlier that a lot of people voiced their concerns about me partaking on this long trip by myself. Admittedly I worried I was going to have a complete mental breakdown after months of solitude, but it never happened. By traveling alone, especially with the Workaway positions I have taken, you are welcomed into people’s homes and lives with open arms. I am forever in awe of the acceptance I have received while on this trip. It is a sweet reminder that beautiful souls reside all over the world. We are conditioned to live in a state of perpetual fear (have you seen the news lately?) but when you step outside your comfort zone and experience the world you realize how many truly spectacular people are on this planet. The people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting during my trip have been so accommodating and gracious I cannot believe my good luck. I have had such an amazing first experience with Workaway I am already planning out another adventure!
In a few days time, I will leave my hosts in the Lot Valley and spent a few days visiting family near Dijon. Afterwards, I cap off my trip with a few foolish days in Amsterdam and then before I know it, I will be back on home turf.
How is it even possible that today is my 23rd birthday? I feel in equal parts as young as I ever have and as old as I ever will.
Last year I told myself I wanted to spend my twenty-third in Paris. I think I’ve one-upped myself as I have spent the first four hours of my birthday dipping my toes in the sea and walking through a french market eating a croissant and refueling as needed with cafe noisettes.
I am absolutely blissfully happy.
Pistachios, hummus, baguette and an apple.
Eating alone has never been so enjoyable.
And yes, I fully walked through the street wearing stripes and carrying my baguette.
Cliched dreams are being realized here.
The bare necessities for this traveller.
Dictionary, French phone, facial mist, Swiss Army knife, passport francaise, Euro and my iPhone.
Landed safely in Paris.
It seems as though the “fear” I was waiting for will not come. Perhaps this is how it feels to be certain in the choices you make?
I cannot remember ever feeling so at ease or tranquil in my life.
Walking to the supermarket gives me more joy than is reasonable or sane.
I love it here. The stress and anxiety that was suffocating the last few weeks has lifted.
Tomorrow’s agenda: Perpignan via TGV.