Monday, May 23, 2011

R&R in Loire

An Honest Post

The past few days I've been attempting a little R&R in the countryside. I've been doing my best to show you the good things, but not everyday has been peaches and cream, and while I've tried my hardest to leave most negativity off the blog and save for the travel diary, I was told that some like the " honest stories of exploit". Maybe it will help therapeutically for me to get it off my chest...

So I'm going to put all the bad out there once and for all, and hopefully be done with this spell of unfortunate luck lately. I've mentioned some things already but not all...

It really started with difficulties on my flight, which should have been an indicator --breaking my favorite camera lens in London, leaving my camera in Les Duex Magots in Paris (retrieved), getting pick pocketed at the Eiffel Tower (cash not retrieved), living with hives this week from an allergic reaction to a simple apricot pastry for a boulangerie breakfast, someone asking me for the time then exposing himself (I think that's considered assault), remaining calm as my laptop and passport carried on to Wolverhampton, England without me on the bus (also retrieved), and driving a manual through the Arc de Triomphe and streets of Paris. Yes, I handled all this with a deep breath until the breakdown came on my drive to Chenonceau via windy back roads and small villages, getting the car stuck on a very skinny road in the village, and after trying to manuever the stick, dirty looks, language barriers and a Frenchman who was kind enough to offer backing my car out for me, (while I prayed he didn't drive off with my belongings after the previous day's 'exposures' but not wanting to offend someone by grabbing my purse 'just in case' who was only trying to help). Fifteen minutes later I found solace in familiar McDonald's Happy Meal, brought out my phone which has hardly seen the light of day since I've been in Europe and when I heard my sweetheart's comforting voice broke down in tears as I plucked 'un-French' fries into my mouth and wiped drippy mascara with a golden arches napkin
I had finally broken down.

I know one day this will be a funny story... maybe even it's own National Lampoon's vacation story.

Which is why I'm so lucky to be in the perfect place for recovery...

 My bedroom view is beyond peaceful.

 with simple evenings in the garden

 & peaceful rivers.

Whenever I tell people I'm traveling alone, I get mixed responses of generally surprise, sometimes admiration, and other times pity. Sometimes it's frustrating that it just can't be seen as normal. What I thought was independent, others saw as brave or even weird. But I'm beginning to see after four weeks that things are better shared with others, which is why I'm grateful for the kind people I've encountered along the way, angry at those who've preyed on me and unfortunate a woman can't enjoy a simple dinner or photography outing without feeling uncomfortable, but thankful for the opportunity I've been given to experience everything, and now wise enough to appreciate what is in my own backyard.

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  1. Aaah, you poor thing, big hug from the Netherlands! The place looks great! X MENNEPEN

  2. I'm sorry for all the things that have happened to you. Don't ever feel strange that you are traveling alone - I have done it my whole life and I truly enjoy it and I love dining out by myself (I actually prefer it most of the time..haha..) You will look back on this time as a wonderful memory and be able to laugh at the bad things (well some of them at least...) Enjoy each moment - I am so enjoying your adventures and glad you are keeping a travel diary (something that I regret not doing.) Hugs and love sent to you! xxoo

  3. My heart goes out to you. May god and the angels be looking after you for the rest of the trip till you get home. I do know that you are one tough girl, but anyone can take just so much.
    Like you said one day you will look back on this.
    Sincerely hope the rest of the trip goes better.
    With love

  4. Just sent you an email - what has happened since we met last Tuesday? Now you can just relax and enjoy - and start wrinting about all your adventures - we may be reading them on the bestseller list in a few years. (Positive thinking here). Please don't think all Frenchmen are like this - I should have brought along my JP for you to see that they can be marvelous too!
    Will pray for quiet and safety;

  5. Dearest Nikki....sorry for your troubles. No wonder you had a meltdown. I travelled in Europe Italy. At the last minute, my best friend couldn't go. Although I saw many wondrous sights and had some great meals...2 weeks was quite long enough. It was an adventure though, but doubt I'd do it again - alone.Language barrier was difficult, and it's definitely more fun to share experiences. Safe travels for the rest of your trip. Love, Julie

  6. You go girl! "Hold that head up high!" I admire you for telling us like it is. We all need to know the "truths" about traveling! You may be giving the most helpful advice to the next woman who decides to travel alone...

    Mumzie :)

  7. I'm beyond jealous. I have some really great news on the paperback version of my 1st novel. I'd love for you to head over and check it out! Have a great night doll! Kori xoxo

  8. Oh girl, I hope you are able to recoop quickly with those beautiful surroundings!



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