It has been a crazy journey to get to Lyon, but I have finally arrived! After months of stress with the visa process and getting all my forms filled (there were literally hundreds) I was finally, legally, allowed into Schengen area. And because I am me, and well I live to travel, I decided to spend two weeks prior to the start of my exchange on the beautiful islands in Greece.
Even though I spent almost all the money I saved up for the next 5 months, and will unfortunately be living off of cheap wine, rice crackers and Nutella in France, it was two of the best weeks of my life. The islands were absolutely amazing. Each island we visited kept surpassing the previous one, and then we went to Ios and I fell in love. Okay not in love love (I wish???) But I did fall in love with the beautiful island. The views were incredible, the people were one of a kind, and the food was delicious (my mouth actually just started to water.. Can someone please bring me some french fries and tzatziki to France).
Ios confirmed why I love travelling so incredibly much. I spent the days adventuring and exploring new cultures and beautiful places, doing things like driving around in ATVS and cliff jumping, going to different beaches and trying different foods. My favorite being the menu that had different random fishes listed as an option or the sausage that ended up not actually being an actual sausage but just intestines stuffed inside the skin of a sausage… delicious, really.
So I got to do and see all these amazing places and things but what really gets me
about travelling is the wonderful people you meet along the way. In Ios I met people who changed my perspectives on the world and made me feel alive. We would have incredible adventures and real conversations being so raw and honest because lets be honest we are complete strangers not here to criticize or judge but just to listen and understand. Together, you get to discover who you are and what life is all about, and that to me is what travelling is for.
My heart broke a little having to leave the islands and my new friends and get back to real life. Alright so maybe not real life because I am still in Europe for fucks sake. I learned so much during those two weeks. For example, never try catching a train when you are incredibly hungover and have not slept, you will miss it. Just exchange the ticket for a later time, it will be the best decision you will ever make. The next lesson goes along with the first which is that Bueno is a gift from God and will solve any problem you have. Like when you haven’t slept in 48 hours and are dying from a hangover and miss your train, take a deep breath and buy some bueno and every little thing will be okay. I also found out that French macaroons are gluten free. I repeat they are GLUTEN FREE. Best. Day. Ever. But the biggest lesson I learnt is that for every bad person you encounter there are one hundred better people out there. Shout out to the two wonderful Australian ladies who shared their wine at 4am when I needed it most, friendship and wine goes a long way people.
I’ve only been in Lyon for 5 days and already I know that I am never leaving. Someone is literally going to have to drag me while I am kicking and screaming otherwise, sorry, it’s not happening. It is so unbelievably beautiful here!!!! I can’t even explain it, I just highly recommend it to everyone and anyone. There are so many young people, so much shopping and great fashion, and delicious food.. I actually went to a Häagen-Dazs restaurant.. like a sit down restaurant where I was asked what I wanted to drink with my ice cream. The best thing about this ice cream restaurant is that it is right around the corner from my apartment, so you know where I will be any time I am having a bad day! Homesick.. Häagen-Dazs. First day of school… Häagen-Dazs. Tripped walking up the stairs.. Häagen-Dazs. Locked out of apartment.. Häagen-Dazs. Lost my cell phone.. Häagen-Dazs. (I might gain a few pounds here I think, c’est la vie??) I digress about ice cream.. where was I? Right, this city, it’s awesome. My apartment is a whole other story! Awesome doesn’t even begin to cover it. I feel like I am living in some sort of romantic french movie.. all I need now is a french man!
Despite the fact that I say je ne compris pas 10x a day and then last night I learnt that I was even saying that wrong, it’s actually je ne comprends pas.. cool, and that I am not even close to as fashionable as these beautiful french women, and that I will probably be over 200 lbs after all the ice cream I eat, I am fully enjoying this incredible city and am so excited to stay here for the rest of my life. Sorry mom. Sorry Canada. Sorry french government. I am never coming home.
Vive la France!