I am currently writing this from gay ole Paris, where I ended up the day before yesterday after a hot, sweaty, rainy 10 hour bus trip. (FYI, it’s only 2 hours by train, but, you know, #PoorPeopleProblems).
I have been wanting to travel for awhile now and have been so busy working to pay the proverbial (and literal) bills that my plans kept getting pushed to the wayside. Now that I have been in London for 10 months (!!), I feel that I can say that that is such a Canadian way of thinking.
If there is one thing I have learned from living abroad, it’s that people in this part of the world enjoy the finer things in life so much more than North Americans. It’s certainly true here in France (NO ONE says ‘no’ to a glass of wine because they have to work in the morning) and also in the other countries I have traveled to so far. Even in London, where the mentality is to go, go, go all the time, as soon as work is finished at 6, it’s off to the pub because “we deserve a drink”. Bank holidays come around all the time, it seems, and people leave London in droves to go to the country or the sea or to any other place besides the city, just to get away, relax and to make the most of their time off of work. I LOVE this way of being.
It makes so much sense to enjoy life more and to stress less and I’ve tried to live like that since being here, even if it’s hard to break old habits and to change your mentality about some things.
Saying all that brings me to last week, when my boyfriend and I decided to leave London for greener pastures….or bluer seas. Or warmer weather. Or nicer people. However you want to look at it is fine. We quit our jobs, packed up our stuff (which oddly enough, had doubled several times over since both of us arrived in London) and returned our flat keys to the agency.
After all was said and done and decided and booked, we had 5 hours to kill before our bus trip to Paris. When you are leaving the city you have dreamed of living in for 29 years and you have no idea when you will return and all of a sudden you only have 5 hours to do all those things you thought you had time for…well, if you think I didn’t freak out, then clearly I am a great actress and you don’t know me at all.
It somehow ended up being decided that we would grab some snacks (always a good idea), some champagne, (a better idea) and take the tube to Notting Hill to visit a koi pond (wtf??).
We ended up at the bus station with only minutes to spare, 19 bags, 42 pairs of shoes between us –with the clear warning that I am under NO circumstances allowed to wear my flip flops when in Paris– and the hope that this crazy idea was going to turn out fine. If all else failed, I’d at least be in Paris.
Our trip was rainy, the “sun roof” on our bus leaked, and I was stuck sitting next to a Russian spy who had three cell phones and was texting messages like this:
“Kxqqqqutrr tuukkla xqqqfrppxxx”
We arrived in Paris (!!!) at 6:30 am, after not having slept all night, being starving and sore, and did I mention I am in Paris?!
We had breakfast, which consisted of the most buttery, flaky, delicious croissant I have ever tasted and I immediately understood everything I have ever heard about French people and butter. Also, miniature coffees, what is the deal?
The rest of my day was a blur of more coffee, meeting people, going places (my first time in a car in almost a year), 4 different types of alcohol, oh and church…(I’m a girl who lives on the edge, what can I say?)…and then, as the sun set, the Eiffel Tower….more on that adventure tomorrow! At the moment, I am still drunk from 4 days ago. Thanks for reading!!