So it’s been awhile since I last posted anything on here and I’ve definitely been a few places - Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam again, Lake Geneva, Milan, Cannes, and now Barcelona. It’s been one helluva incredible journey. As much as I’d like to share all the different things I’ve seen and done, something much more interesting has happened. Something that I hoped would happen.
Today, sitting on the beach, something that I’d been searching for finally appeared. It was me. I’d found myself. When I set out on this journey, I definitely wanted to visit and see as many places as I could, but what was most important to me was that I wanted to find Brian. The past 8 months have been rough, some of the toughest in my whole life. My life has changed drastically from what it was just 9 months ago. Kind of ironic that it was 9 months. But now, I’m looking forward and seeing me in a world filled with so many possibilities.
The past 6 weeks I’ve spent a lot of time alone. Traveling by yourself has it’s ups and downs. There have been plenty of times when I wished there was someone sitting at the table across from me at dinner or seeing the same incredible view that I am. But the truth is, I needed this time alone. I needed the time to find Brian. I’ve learned so much about myself on this trip and what it takes to make me happy. There have definitely been some bumps along the way and times when things didn’t quite work out as I had hoped, but those were just lessons in life. I realized today, I’m in a place now where I don’t need someone else in my life to make me happy. I still want to find that someone to share and enjoy life to it’s fullest, but now I know my happiness is completely up to me. I’ve rediscovered my passion for life and the things I know will bring me joy.
In about 3.5 weeks, I’ll be back in San Francisco on the hunt for a new job and a new home. I’m confident that things will work out and that I’ll look back on these two months, and say to myself “damn that was fun”, but most importantly I’ll know who I am and I like what I see.
I arrived here in Nancy from Paris on Sunday afternoon by train and was greeted by my parents at the station. It was the first time I’d seen them since I left DC back in March and so it was really nice to see them again. After dropping my suitcase off the hotel, we headed over to the Place Stanislas for an afternoon drink. This plaza is incredible and I posted a photo of it at night below. It’s just a few blocks from our hotel and we’ve spent a lot of time walking through it and around it.
Later on, in search of a place for dinner we came across a nearby street full of all sorts of restaurants with an assortment of options. It was a good dinner and nice to have company again after a few nights on my own in Paris. The next day we headed out on a drive to visit a really impressive American memorial and cemetery. We got a little lost on the way, but it was all part of the adventure. The American cemetery was quite impressive. It was for the thousands of Americans that had died in battle in both World War I and World War II in the nearby area. The grounds were immaculate and although it’s upkeep is paid for my the US, the French who take care of it do an amazing job. Although a somber place, I was glad my dad had taken me there. I’m not sure how many Americans are aware of the numerous American cemeteries throughout Europe where many of our soldiers who fought in the two World Wars are buried, but given the chance I would strongly encourage anyone to go and pay your respects.
The next day, the weather was pretty crappy so we stayed in town and went to the local aquarium. Although completely overrun with little French kids, it was really pretty nice and they had some really cool displays. I wasn’t feeling too well after so we headed back to the hotel and took it easy till dinner. That night we tried out one of the other restaurants which turned out to be a huge hit will all of us and we ended up going back there again tonight.
On Wednesday, we wandered around Nancy searching out various buildings as it is well known for it’s great examples of Art Nouveau architecture. We also visited the local Art Nouveau museum which had some amazing pieces of artwork and furniture. I posted a photo of one of the buildings in the museums garden, but of course no photos can really do the place justice.
Today we headed out again to the nearby mountains for a nice drive. We pulled off for lunch in a small town and it turned out to be one of the most amazing lunches I’ve ever had. It was a “duck plate” with two types of foie gras, smoked duck, and grilled duck breast. It was divine.
So after five very nice days with my parents, I’m heading back to Paris for one night and then on to Amsterdam. I’ll be in Amsterdam for about 3 days and then it’s onto Berlin. I can’t believe I’ve already been in Europe for 2 weeks and still have a whole month left. Tomorrow I’ll be back to traveling on my own again. I’m looking forward to continuing to explore Europe as well as continue to learn more about myself.