Epic Solo Adenture – May Update
Has it really been a month already since I flew out of Toronto and off on my EPIC solo adventure?! As I’m sure you can imagine I’ve been incredibly busy and sadly haven’t been writing as much as I’d like or hoped. So, I’ve decided to continue with my monthly updates to fill you in on what I’ve been up to, where I’ve been and all the good, the bad and the ugly. Here’s my May update!
As of today I’ve had my last full day in Paris, the fifth stop on my whirlwind three month solo tour of Europe and the UK, and am off to Lyon tomorrow. And after a month I’ve realized I’ve packed far too much in the time I have. Perhaps I’ve finally become a slower traveler and not like in my 20s of pack it all in and move on, I want to stop and smell the proverbial flowers. But you live and you learn or maybe it should be you travel and you grow. I’ve stopped trying to make sure I do and see all the things I wanted and have relaxed my pace and spent time relishing the pure magic of being in Europe and doing it solo, soaking in the atmosphere of the cafe or park I’m in. I’m also trying to heed my friend’s advice and getting out from behind my camera and really seeing the sights and sounds of life and not just from my lens. (That’s not to say I haven’t taken like a gazillion photos)
I must admit travel, whether solo or otherwise isn’t all sugar plums and rainbows, there can be bad and ugly happenings along with the good – which we always remember. I can’t really say anything has been horrible but ugly yes! I normally suffer from migraines so it’s no surprise that the ache, the pounding, the blinding light, the nausea followed me half way across the globe. But there could be far worse things and so in true stubborn fashion I wait until it’s almost about to explode until I finally head back to my dark hotel room to take a trusty pill (no, nothing illegal folks) and try and relax and sleep it off. Although I’d love to be out all day and enjoy every city I’m in to the max, I know my limits and I’m fine with it. I refuse to burn out – especially in month one lol.
The only really bad part was my unfortunate tour bail. I decided to book a tour online, with a reputable and popular site, while in Lisbon. I emailed the contact for my hotel pick up and even called their office number and emergency after hours number countless times for days leading up to the tour day. Nothing! No wait, what’s less then nothing? Oh, I know, endless ringing! Even when I contacted the company I booked with, no help! I was literally speechless and couldn’t help but say, “seriously!?”
I’m sure you’re all wondering what became of that fateful tour. More nothing…they never picked me up and still couldn’t get ahold of them. I will not name names, as that isn’t who I am, but I will be keeping an eye on this site as I’ve booked other tours with them and will definitely let you know if it was a chance occurrence or more.
With my minuscule bad and ugly stuff out of the way lets make way for the good! There has been endless supplies of good from spending quality time with my niece who lives in London to meeting up with some lovely ladies in Lisbon to talk blogging, travel and life and get to have my dream come true with my visit to Durrell Wildlife Park (read more about that here) to following in the footsteps of my favourite literary giants here in Paris. I’m beyond thrilled, for the most part, about the cities I’ve chosen and have been humbly surprised by how much I fell in love with some of them – like Jersey and Brussels.
I seem to find my place in every city where I fell in love with the sights, sounds and smells. For Lisbon it was Alfama, for Brussels it was the area of Grand Place and here in Paris it was, of course, the Latin Quarter.
Do you ever find a spot in a new city and feel a place of belonging?
I’ve decided to add a few “counts” to my updates like how many zoos I visited in that month, how many UNESCO sites I went to and which cities I visited.
London Zoo, Durrell Wildlife Park, Lisbon Zoo, Antwerp Zoo and Paris’s Menagerie
UNESCO sites: 4 + 2
Westminster Abbey & St. Margaret’s Church in London, Tower of Belém in Lisbon, La Grand-Place in Brussels, & Banks of the Seine in Paris – as of writing and will add – Historic Site of Lyon in Lyon, France and Le Strade Nuove & the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli in Genoa by the end of the month.
Cities I’ve explored:
London & Uxbridge, England
Jersey, The Channel Islands
Brussels & Antwerp, Belgium
- Later this month:
What am I thankful for? ….. I’m thankful to have been inspired to write while here in Paris!
Until we meet again friend, au revoir!