Wednesday, October 28, 2015

     If there’s nothing of interest in your present, sometimes looking back brings some happy memories that make you glad you’re alive. One set of these memories took place in the summer of 2001 when I took my 4th and last trip to Europe alone. The fact that I ventured to foreign countries alone would intimidate some, terrify others, and fascinate a few. My solo travels have given me memories and friendships that enrich my life even to this day, as I still communicate with people I met along the way from waiters to grad students in my classes there. 

     This last trip to France was especially empowering, as I rented a stick-shift car and drove all over southern France alone—through mountains, through crowded city streets and into unknown neighborhoods trying to find my hotel. It was the most daring and exciting trip of a lifetime. I returned home unscathed, exhilarated and more in love with France than ever. 

     Would I do that today? Probably not. This was before 9/11. This was before ISIS, before random tourist shootings. I felt safe and respected. I’m not sure I would feel that way anymore anywhere. When I think about walking home from the restaurant to my hotel alone at night in my stilettos with my blond hair blowing in the wind, it’s a miracle I am here to write about it. I revel in the joy of the weeks I spent.

     Here are a few photos of my craziness.