I’m sure I sort of touched on this at some point, but going to Europe alone was a pretty big deal for me. And obviously when I say alone, I mean “with Marlowe” because I haven’t truly been alone in 8.5 years. And then of course, there was the addition of my mom on this France trip– who we met directly in the Paris airport. So of course, this trip was hardly alone at all.
But I knew that this trip was still a big deal for me in regards to traveling in the world and lacking the security of am extra person. You might be surprised to hear this, but I’ve always been somewhat nervous traveling. It’s just in my nature to worry– but that’s big habit I’ve been working on for years 😉 I don’t even like to go to the store alone. Not that I’m an extrovert and need to be surrounded by groups of people all the time, because it’s actually more the opposite. I just like one good companion with me as I do life. This can be in the form of friendship, relationships, or family. So even with travel, I just like to have a partner.
Regardless, I have done long road trips by myself and at one point traveled long and far distances with M, without that extra security of a companion. But that was a lifetime ago. You guys know I lost my self-esteem and trust in myself after I got sick. I just haven’t been reliable. Actually, I’ve been highly unreliable (at least by my standards anyway).
But the last 24 hours in Paris was a new turning point for me this years. It was the moment that I would trust myself enough to be alone, in a foreign country, without a buddy, being solely responsible for my kid again. Was I nervous? Totally. But I also felt recharged in a bit of self hope and dignity. I felt good.
The last 24 hours in Paris were slow, but very busy. It was also cold and a bit rainy, but good. Really good. The day before was a mix of being out and staying in. Marlowe and I wanted a day off from wandering. We spent a few good hours laying in bed while my mom went out and did her own thing. We had went out for lunch (not pictured) and just down the street was a little raw vegan pastry place (amazing, right?). Marlowe got herself a little chocolate tart, before heading out back to the apartment to relax.
After our downtime we went back out for dinner. And I can’t remember where we went, but I’m almost certain we went right back to the Caribbean place from the other day.
Afterwards we went to this really cool light/ art exhibit. The Atelier Des Lumieres. It was really great! We often visit art museums while traveling, but this was something a bit different from that. And well worth it. My friend Lauren messaged me ten million times about it and I’m glad I listened. My friend Lauren has an art account on instagram, Art Of This World. if you want to check her out– she posts about all the best art– and you can totally message her if traveling and she’ll hook you up with deets 😉
The next morning was my moms last day. It was a day for filling her belly and preparing for long journeys. Well, Marlowe and I had a short journey ahead of us, but we wanted to be prepared too 😉 And so we bundled up and hit the streets.
And bought bread, hahaha. We were SO obsessed with this bakery after our picnic. For real though, this was our main priority this day. The gluten free bakery was a bit of a hike, but well worth it. Especially because in the morning before our flight, we wouldn’t really have time to stop for food before making our way to the airport. It was an easy to trek to the airport (unlike the airport journey when leaving London– that was nerve-wracking!!!) but this one was easy. And we were well prepared with bread, tapenades, and a tiny bit of fruit. It was good.
We made our way back to the apartment and parted ways with my mom. We would be seeing her a few weeks later, so it wasn’t a tremendously big deal to say ‘bye’ but it was a big deal to for the first time, in a long time, to be on my own with M.
We kept that night simple. We packed up our things in the apartment and waited for the restaurants to open for dinner. This might have been the toughest part of the trip, haha. We’re so used to 5 o’clock dinner at home. Restaurants opening at 7 and 7:30 pm was a long wait for us! Haha! For dinner, we opted to walk a whole two apartments over to the vegetarian noodle shop. Super adventurous, I know. But I was mentally preparing myself to wake up and travel to a new adventure in a brand new to me city.
One of our favorite things to do when out together (at home and during travel) is to bring a card game or art set (we’ve been really into bringing a little travel watercolor set with us lately) to do together at cafes or while waiting for our meals. I gotta tell you, Marlowe is a little shark when it comes to card and thinking games. You know, I have to say, I’m pretty good at games– I have this underlying competitive streak that is tucked away for all things except for card games. I’m pretty good. But damn, she is too. It’s really great to have a tiny kiddo who can keep up and challenge me! She won maybe 90% of our uno games this day.
And we noodled. The most Colombian part about me must be my intense love for soup. I could eat it night and day. But I mean, what’s better than a warm soup on a chilly and rainy day?
After dinner, we packed up the very last details and went to bed. The next day would be a very big and new adventure for us. We were very, very grateful for the Paris part of our trip. Marlowe is already dying to go back to France– she wants to live there one. But we were both VERY excited for our upcoming London adventure too.
Especially me, because I had (painfully) been hiding her birthday surprise for WEEKS, maybe MONTHS. So however excited she was, double that. I was ready to surprise her! London was a great time. As soon as I can fix my broken blog, I plan to upload the photos from our time there. There are less photos there since it’s hard to take photos without a third person 😉 Though on a whim, I had worked up enough courage to ask a stranger to take this photo of us on the very last day. (I’m proud of myself too guys).
Since this trip (and the London part too) we’ve gone on one solo trip together. A much shorter one, just a few hours north to South Carolina. Where we met friends about 36 hours later. And just this week, I booked another solo trip for M and myself. We’re heading off to Mexico next week. Just the two of us. We’re both looking forward to it for sure. Of course I’m nervous. It’s a bit scarier to be the only one responsible of my favorite kid while we’re in another country, far from home. But it’s worth it for sure. If I can avoid gluten at all costs, I think we can make it through another very successful travel journey together.
I hope one day to work through my health travel fears completely. I’m not sure if that can happen with this intense allergy looming. But even if it doesn’t happen, I’m happy for myself to get out and do it anyway. Despite the fear.
And from Mexico? Well we’re flying off to a secret location to surprise a friend 😉 I can’t disclose more details, as I don’t want to ruin the surprise. But we’re VERY excited. I’ve already said too much.
So I will go now. I hope you guys are having a great week!