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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Joyeux anniversaire à MOI! (Usually I butcher the translation so giving it one more go!)

So I have a bit of a confession to make...

While I know many of you think I have it all together and that I am such a go getter, I must admit here and now that I am CRAP at updating my blog - there I said it.  I think we all feel a little better for having gotten that out in the open and we can move on from here :)

I must apologise as it has been a long time since I have posted on my blog but as is often the case with life, mine has gotten away with me and one day has turned into a week which then turned into a month and there you have it - life just slips away from you one moment at a time.  I am back on track though, back in the moment and thought I'd share some of my experiences from the past month.

Probably first and foremost was the celebration of my 24th birthday (maybe that's just a typo but I'm leaving it there as I like the sound of it).   I knew that I had wanted to do something fun for my first birthday away from home as it was a bit of a depressing thought and what better way to avoid a sad weekend on your own wallowing in self pity about being alone on your birthday thousands of miles from your family and friends then to run away to Paris!   I had played with the idea for the weeks before but didn't really settle on going until the day before I packed my bags and boarded the train.  In all honesty I was really excited to take the Eurostar for the first time as it is the high speed train that goes though the underwater tunnel connecting England to France.  I was all worked up for an extraordinary experience but in reality it's just like most other trains with the exception of riding in the dark for a few miles.   If I had designed it, it would have been built as a glass tube with lighting on the outside so you could enjoy sea life whilst on your train journey - engineering limitations be damned! At any rate, it was still pretty amazing that I left the station in central London at 7:22AM and I was in Paris at 10:47AM (a one hour time difference).  By noon I was checked into my hotel and strolling around the grounds of the Louvre and the gardens leading up to the Champs Elysees!  By late afternoon I was enjoying a hot coffee and looking up at the Eiffel Tower!

I had been to Paris before luckily so I didn't feel the pressure of seeing all of the big tourist sights.  The queues were outrageous since it is a big attraction for family holidays during the Summer months.  I walked around to most of the main sights to take pictures but didn't really bother with fighting the crowds to get inside.  I did have an awkward moment with a snobby French woman in Notre Dame but what would Paris be if the people weren't rude to you at least once - all part of the experience in my opinion :)

Paris was actually the first city in Europe I ever visited and I think was the first time I fell in love with the history and beauty that Europe had to offer.  I couldn't wait to order a crepe from one of the street vendors in the morning for breakfast as it reminded me so much of my first trip to the city.  In a strange way the nostalgia of that original visit concreted for me that my first holiday to Paris may have been the first step in a journey that eventually led me to living in London.  It was then that I feel in love with traveling and creating a life from experiences.  At the time, I definitely didn't have the path laid out but in some ways it was the spark that lead to the eventual fire.   Funny how one small change in direction can lead to big changes in your overall journey.

After enjoying lots of good French cuisine, amazing wine and boutique shopping in the Latin quarter, it was time to end my one night stay in Paris and head back to London and work on Monday morning.  I will say that my weekends are far more adventurous here then they were back home - but now I wonder if there were adventures to be had in Colorado and I had just overlooked them because I wasn't in the mode of taking advantage?  Was I just lazy in the monotony of a life I had become so accustomed to that I missed opportunities to enjoy my weekends just as much as I have since I have lived here?   Maybe this experience will teach me to live every day as though I could be sent packing at any time!

On to the next adventure - Barcelona this weekend :) Will report back once I return home next week!

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