Smooth Sailing Start
France has always held great importance for me, especially in the last few years. I always loved France, the culture, the people, and growing up had a lot of French influence at home, and with friends. With all this being said, I always knew coming to France would be emotionally charged. Little did I know how charged it would be…
When I arrived to Marseille, it was a much needed break from the crazy Spanish nights I had just lived. Good crazy of course. Amazing crazy! Nevertheless, it was nice to wind down, relax, and spend some time alone. Marseille was so charming and cute. I loved it! I had mussels and fries, which was obviously exquisite! So cheap as well may I add. I walked around loads, chatted with locals, spent time by the water, and enjoyed the views.
Next was Nice. I used to BlaBlaCar to get there which was nice because I got to meet a new person and pass the car ride talking about things with the driver. I highly recommend using BBC. Once I arrived to Nice, settled in my hostel and showered, it was dusk; my favourite time of day. I was staying quite close to the English Promenade so I went for a walk and sat by the beach. I watched the sun set and spent about three hours on that bench just thinking, breathing, relaxing, and enjoying the vibes! Lovely it was.
Calm before the storm
In the middle of my stay I went to Monaco for the day. Monaco was exceptional! i loved it very much. It had a certain energy to it for sure. It was like another world, one where nothing else existed except Monaco. A world where you can just sit, walk, eat, and enjoy the views that surround it. Even though I was still in France, I felt like I was on an island far away for some reason. So even though I was doing the same things I always do, such as eat, sit, walk, and enjoy, it felt different in Monaco haha! So much so that I took the opportunity to just think about my life thus far, as well as my trip up until that point, and look forward to the days to come. I suppose the fact that it was a day trip contributed to the sense of separation I felt there. When you stay in a place for several days, it feels more real. When you go somewhere for a day, you know you don’t have as much time so you soak it up, take it in, and make the day day whatever you want it to be. There is a lot less room for getting into every day things, or spending a couple hours on the computer, for example, because you know that you have just this one day. In the end, I did exactly that. I grabbed Monaco and lived it as fully as possible. Not that I go about things any differently when I travel in general, but that one day in Monaco certainly was a focused one. It felt like for the first time in a while, I was fully present in the moment. I did a lot of constructive thinking and was really ready to start over form then and be more mindful and aware. Days go by so fast and I did not want to miss any moments!
My Legal Affair
The next day, I was still in Nice, and woke up to find that I had been robbed. Yes, that’s right! They had stolen all my cards and my passport. Everything. The day that I had originally intended to use as a beach day to even out my tan would now be spend in a one hour panic, followed by anger, then a long conversation with a friend convincing me not to give up on my travels, and ended with a sweet tumble down a flight of stairs. At that point, I just bursted into laughter to be honest… Rewinding a bit to when I found out I had lost everything; I was in a major panic. I refused to believe it was true. Unfortunately, it was, and I had to get started on sorting things.
The first thing I did was book a ticket to Paris for that night so I could go to the embassy the next morning. I then blocked my cards and reported everything as stolen. After a 12 hour train ride to Paris, I went to my hostel and settled in quickly. I brought myself to the embassy and started the sorting of my affairs. I had to go to the police station and file a report, then go to the embassy and fill out form after form, answer question after question… It was a heck of a day but I managed to walk around and sightsee a bit! I had absolutely nothing with me so I was sent some crash money from my parents. As soon as I went to Western Union to make the transfer, I was so relived! There was hope in my situation that had left me feeling so violated and paralyzed the day before. Not only would I not have to eat the crackers I had in my bag all week in Paris, but I would get my cards and temporary passport brought to me in Paris. What was I to do next? I bought a crêpe, and walked around town. I was in Paris after all! In fact, on my way to the embassy, I was so stressed out I almost missed the Eiffel Tower! I stopped myself and said: “Wow wait hang on that’s it! I’m here, it’s there, and everything will be ok. Not only because I am in the perfect Paris, but because I am here with myself, and I will make sure everything works out. I have to promise myself everything will be.”
That, my dear friends, was the beginning of my new mindset. For those of you who do not know this about me, I am a thinker. Actually, I am an over-thinker. I think way too much and get myself into knots that bring me to mild anxiety. I suppose it’s my way of not being able to do anything half way… even the less than desirable things. The combination of my already amazing trip, with the charm of France, the exuberance of Paris, and having lost my entire wallet, all made me feel happy. I would say that it was some of the most pure joy I have felt yet. I felt it with no passport, no money, no cards, sleep depravation, and no plans for what was to come. After all, I am travelling to live and experience life, in all its glory. And that is exactly what I intended to do. Nothing would be bigger than that in my mind. Not anything. Suddenly my troubles seemed smaller. After I got everything sorted at the embassy, and Western Union, had my crêpe, and walked around, i went back to my hostel. I remember sitting in bed utterly grateful for everything. Sounds crazy, I know. But I was so grateful. Fear not my fellow travellers! To anyone who has just been robbed or who may be one day (though I really do not wish that on anyone!) Please rest assured that it can and will be fixed in no time! You will be ok and everything will be sorted so you can travel on!! 🙂
My Love Affair
Now, days have passed and I am leaving Paris tomorrow night and heading to Geneva. Though there was only one sunny day in the city, I did not care. I was in love. Head over heels in love with Paris! Lucky for me, it was also a very meaningful city now. More than it had been before. How many people can say they got their bank cards and passport brought to them in Paris, and who are not from Paris? I have had sun, rain, tears, laughs, beers, crêpes, hot dogs, baguettes, cheese, pâté, and cocktails in Paris. I have received my credit card and passport in this marvellous city. It feels like a completely fresh start eh?
So, as these rainy days wash away anything negative from my past and my mind, and succeed in offering me this multi faceted new beginning I longed for, I sit here, lucky enough to be writing to you whilst doing what I love. My new card, my new passport, my new plans, my new mindset, and my memories of my love will be coming with me tomorrow as I enjoy one more blissful day in the Champs Élysées and venture off to Geneva; a beautiful, and serene place to put my words into action.