I am so sorry for the gap in blog posts these past couple of weeks! As many of you know I have been out of the country for the past few weeks and unfortunately all of the posts I had scheduled for y'all to see failed to post which is a bummer but also means that great content is currently on its way to y'all!
Before I got too far removed from my incredible trip I wanted to be sure to recap it with y'all as well as share some of my (over 1,500) photos with you! My trip was even better than I imagined it would be with around two wonderful weeks in Paris and four days in London. I am already ready to head back even if that means a long red eye flight! As some of you may remember, this trip was through a program at my school, which allows students to travel abroad during the month of May all while earning school credit. So although my instagram made it seem like all I did was play there was a little bit of work sprinkled in as well (although in reality it was mostly play)!
While there is absolutely no way y'all would continue to read this post if all I did was ramble about what I did each day, what I ate, and how obsessed with the architecture I was I did want to share a few things I learned from my short time studying abroad. Don't worry though, I am planning to have travel favorite posts coming soon for both Paris and London for you to reference in case you are lucky enough to be heading that way. And if that's the case please save room in your suitcase to pack me because I am itching to go back!
In addition to learning more about the subject matter we focused on, The Ballets Russes and Modernism (how cool is that!), I also learned a bit about myself while I was away. No matter how incredibly cliche that sounds it is absolutely true.
I realized that:
I am a lot more independent / self sufficient of a traveler than I ever give myself credit for. Very early on in the trip I realized that I was totally comfortable in my new surroundings and was more than ready to be adventurous whether or not other people felt the same way. I grew tired of being in a large group and wandering around aimlessly just because one person didn't want to be decisive and voice what they wanted to do in case others did not feel the same way. There were times on the trip where I would have gladly ventured to another area solo if someone was not interested in doing the same things as I wanted to. I was able to figure out the metro quickly, pick back up on my French, and immerse myself in a new place with very few hesitations. I never felt as though I needed to depend on other people or even be fully aware of their plans at all times to make my plans as I was totally comfortable in accomplishing my own things with anyone who cared to join.
Being the planner that I am is a good thing on trips with others who are indecisive. I got to see and do more in each city when I was decisive and made a plan for any of the free time I had. And because so many people are indecisive they will likely jump in on your plans! I am so glad that I didn't feel compelled to text each person in the group to get a feel for what they were doing just to decide what I wanted to do. Blame that on me looking through book after book of Paris and London suggestions but plans are a wonderful thing when you have a very limited amount of time in each place. I remember growing especially frustrated one afternoon in London when everyone insisted on going back to take a nap when we had yet to see anything touristy in London. I am glad that I felt comfortable enough to voice that concern and make my own plans for the evening when others weren't feeling quite so adventurous
I don't like complicating things. 14 people at dinner? No thank you that is just asking for trouble especially for the poor waiter or waitress! Large group traveling may not be my thing although I did just fine on this trip but it can just complicate things further with that many opinions on a single trip or excursion. Small groups are able to accomplish so much more while being more likely to please the people as well.
I am in love with Europe and could go back tomorrow perfectly content. Looking back the entire trip seems as though it could've been a dream with how perfect it was (and picture perfect as you'll see below). It was one of those pinch yourself experiences where you were constantly looking around at things you had previously only seen in pictures. While I am not sure I could live in a European city I have quickly realized that both Paris and London (and I assume the rest of Europe) are vacation spots that I would return to in a heartbeat.
Now for some photos I took highlighting just a few of the things I was able to do while on the trip. I really do wish I could share every photo and detail of the trip but I have a feeling that I would be the only one who would truly appreciate that so I'll save us all the time!
Notre Dame, Musee D'Orsay, Louvre, Eiffel Tower at Sunset & Night, Giverny (Monet's Garden)
Giverny, Sacre Couer, Montmartre, The Eiffel Tower, Paris from the Seine
The Gardens at Versailles
PS, those are only photos from my camera and haven't even skimmed the surface of the ones I have taken on my phone, yikes! Also, London will be added soon. Somehow those photos got out of order so I am searching for them currently.