That pretty much sums it up for us.
Dave and I are in Paris. It’s our 2 1/2 week stay here and although we are here to complete our French Visa,,, we are here each with only one bag each and a back pack. That means there REALLY is no room for anything beyond experiences.
Is there a ‘difference’ in this travelling than all others before it?
I mean there are similarities in that we walk up, have coffee, breakfast, shower and go out to visit somewhere. We shop for food or eat out depending upon where that somewhere is. We then visit somewhere else or go out to eat dinner or make dinner . That sounds like most of our other trips before this.
What is different is that we make more of an effort to ‘go out’ or to ‘visit somewhere’ or to ‘shop for food’ or to ‘eat out’. The going out is in a neighbourhood that we are unfamiliar with in a city we are unfamiliar with. The somewhere needs to be discovered either from research on line or word of mouth from someone we met. The city is chosen by us as a new place to discover. We have no children with us and are empty nesting this experience. We are not going home to our own bed for quite sometime. I have to really think about what I buy. The new boots I got simply replaced those worn out and hurting my feet. There are no souvenirs from this city or any others to be put into the suitcase and lugged home. Home is 9 months away from now.
As for Paris Experience – I am glad that we landed in here. Honestly, I admit I have not been ‘enamoured’ in the way so many people are when they think of Paris. It was a necessary place for us because we had to get a Long Stay tourist Visa. We had a place to do it in Vancouver with the French Consulate and we have a very generous friend, who’s place we could stay at in Paris. I am happy all roads led here.
I have learned that I can speak French. I am being pushed outside of my comfortable self to do so with locals and the reception has been wonderful. I am here to dispel the conception that the French are rude – au contraire! We order things and talk with locals as we are squished right up next to them at tiny tables in restaurants or standing in markets eating such amazing food.
It has given me perspective on the immigrants and asylum seekers in Europe. Watching men stand in line to find a place to fit in. Not a clue what their reason is for wanting to be in France be it for economic or social reasons. I could feel the difference in processing mine and Dave’s paperwork at the Immigration office versus when the next asylum seeker was called to the desk or a room for interview. I was glad I was Canadian.
I know that I love to cook as much as or perhaps more than eating out. Standing at this market – I had a sense of irritation that I was unable to buy food to bring back to cook. (The upside is that we are here staying for free, the downside is the kitchen only has a toaster, kettle, coffee maker and microwave and unlike a few relatives I have who know how to cook in a microwave, I’m not one of them??!)
<we ate paella and chicken for dinner at apartment as it was already cooked for us>
This journey is about moving forward. We are easing into a transition of empty nesters with both our children living in their own places.
We are being educated in economy, politics, history, geography and sociality!
AND travelling is giving us cool stories to share with you – our friends, family and reader!