April 27th, 2011.
Travelling is stressful! Especially when you don’t have your own car to get you to the station. I like the spontaneous trips… like the one A & I took yesterday when we went to Lille. [pictures here]
Yesterday I went to Lille with AN. Such a beautiful city, it reminds me of Belgium and Holland combined. We found a Mexican restaurant [and if you have ever been to Europe.. you know those are hard to come by!] this place was like a Chipotle [found in the US of A.] I don’t even care… I’ll take it at this point! Delicious! This semester has been full of adventures: Bordeaux, Biarritz, Paris, Disney, Marseille, Lille, and now the Netherlands.
Why is traveling so stressful? I don’t mean the little daytrips I mean the trip that has been planned for a while! The one with bookings, and reservations with certain times, those are the ones I speak of. Another thing that makes things so stressful to travel in Europe is the fact that I am officially carless. Seriously if I had a car, I would have made my train to Paris this morning! Now, the next train to Paris arrives at 12h20 and my train to Rotterdam leaves Paris at 12h25. Damn! I have FIVE minutes with luggage; sleep deprivation, and bad shoes to make it on my train. However, when you make it to your train and you are seated this immense relief comes over you. I’m excited about this upcoming trip though. Four days in the Netherlands with my Dutch friend, A! Exploring the countryside, the city of Leiden, and celebrating Queen’s Day in Amsterdam… sounds perfect! Doesn’t it?
So there I was bursting out of the train with orange suitcase flying behind me. I was scampering down the platform in search for the huge “Departures” sign so that it would inform me of what platform I was supposed to be on like ten minutes ago. As I’m running, my black ballet flat goes skidding across the train station floor. Awesome! [Sense the sarcasm please.] Orange suitcase loosing balance on its wheels behind me, little bag strapped across my chest, and shoes in hand I am running, I mean booking it, to my platform to jump on the train. My cardigan is off my shoulders flaunting the newly received freckles/tan due to all those afternoons sitting in the park with a book. As I find my ‘Voiture’ 15, the train cart, I feel my stomach drop into its correct place rather than lodged in my throat where it had been for the entire train ride from Amiens to Paris. I am comfortable in my red & maroon velvet chair speeding along the northern French countryside to meet up with my friend A in merely two hours time.
It is still hard for me to believe that I have spent the past ten months of my life in Europe. I know I will never have a year like this and cannot believe the incredible experience I’ve attained and the amazing people I’ve met that have made me so much more open an cultural than the person I was before Europe.