You’d think that since I live abroad, I’d be a big traveler. I did move all the way to France from the US, didn’t I? And while I wouldn’t call myself nomadic, I seem to pick up and move every few months or so. I must be a great adventurer, right?!
Not so much. Moving to France was certainly an unexpected adventure, and I definitely don’t live a predictable or traditional life, but I’m not a European jet-setter. (That would be cool, though!)
Since moving to France, I’ve crossed European borders, like, twice: a weekend in London (loved it!) and a couple outings in Switzerland (and the only reason I know I’m in Switzerland and not France is that everything is cleaner and more expensive.) I think I did more traveling in the summer of 2009 than I have since I moved!
Sad, huh? Well, I’ve been busy! Job hunting, teaching, moving, surviving getting screwed over by three different jobs, battling bureaucracy, eating croissants – I mean, I have lots going on. And to be honest with you, even though travel is awesome, it’s not the only thing. The internet these days is like, “Travel while you’re young! Leave your job! Live on the road! Have wild adventures! Jump out of airplanes!” the implication being that you will grow old bitter and filled with regret if you don’t. And I do think that it’s important to leave home and learn about new cultures, and it’s often easier to start a wild adventure the younger you are, and that if you want to travel, you should. But I don’t think it’s wrong to want other things too, and to prioritize them over travel if that’s your choice. (and PS I have zero desire to jump out of a plane.)
So that’s why I’ve been focused on establishing a life in France, repairing my savings account, and spending time with people I love (and eating croissants) instead of jetting off to Italy and Croatia.
But I’ve been feeling restless lately, and my carte jeune (youth card) discount for France’s SNCF trains is going to expire soon forever (the horror). And it’s summer, which is both the season I want to go off on adventures because the weather is beautiful and the days are longer and I want to drink margaritas, and at the same time the season I don’t want to travel because it’s high season and I’m thrifty and it’s too hot in the south of Spain. Conundrum.
So I’m compromising with some thrifty adventures: some time in the south of France (not the Côte d’Azur, although I’m a fan, but the Languedoc-Roussillon region, to Sète and Montpellier), a solo trip to Barcelona (first time!), and finishing up the summer with a month in Paris (Paris doesn’t sound thrifty, but it is when you do it my way.) And in case you were wondering, I’ll be back in England sooner than later. Can’t wait for English cider and scones and hearing people say “alumINium.”
Anyone else craving a scone now?