I don’t want to jinx anything because things can always (and I do mean always) get worse, but rarely have Grand Adventures (TM) gotten off to such rocky starts as #ProjectWanderlust (um, that’s what we call this thing, in case you’re new here).
When I was not having to take $100+ cab rides from the Charles de Gaulle airport because there was a bomb scare on the train; I was discovering that our flat, which is on the 7th floor, has the world’s tiniest elevator (about 3′ x 1.5′. See the header image above for an idea. Captain used as reference) and is prone to breaking down on a semi-weekly basis. Then of course the next day the trains started running which was super exciting to me, so I was able to head out to meet Charming when she arrived at the self same airport; but oh! Then the Metro lines connecting our flat to the train station were down. Of course they are! Why wouldn’t they be? When I finally got to the airport after having set foot on almost every metro line in Paris trying to get around the outages, I managed to get lost within the airport itself. This of course wasn’t surprising since CDG is the most confusing airport ever designed by man. When I finally found Charming, I had been there for over an hour and had walked several miles, criss-crossing the entire place. I was about to start shouting “Marco” randomly!
And while all of this sounds like a whole bunch of complaining, I’m really just trying to set the stage for how easy it would have been to want to call the entire trip off within the first 24 hours or so. But really, the whole point is this:
When Charming and I finally ended up together and turned and faced the chaos which was our trip stretching off before us . . . we did so with a smile on our faces. She was exhausted after an endless flight with an unhappy toddler and I . . . I smelled bad (I didn’t mention the shower in the flat, did I? Yeah, you’re welcome for that). None of it mattered though because we were on a previously-mentioned Grand Adventure and we are Mighty Charming.
A lot of people have said that they wish that they could do what we are doing and how jealous they are of us (which is weird. Jealous? Of us? Dear lord, why?! But OK). To each and every one of them I can only say two things:
1) You CAN do this. All of it. Really. Don’t be afraid to change your dynamic (especially if you happen to work for my company, it’s even easier!) and take this plunge. We’ve done all sorts of research on what you might need to do this travel and we’d be happy to share it with you.
2) Do it with someone. It’s so much easier to have someone to lean on when you’re facing tiny elevators and languages you barely speak and dodgy plumbing and all the rest. It doesn’t have to be your husband or wife or significant other. It can be a bestie or a parent or just someone that you know you travel well with, but no matter what make sure you can handle them for long periods! Of course, you CAN do all of this alone, but it really is so much better!
And as a reward, if you take these leaps of faith and turn together smiling and walk into the tunnel, you sometimes come out and see sights like this one, which was the first that we saw when we came out of the train station (at the wrong stop. Of course).