It’s this period of life. Throwing life up in the air and hoping it comes down in a manner that frames you in the best light possible. I’m taking this pause from lesson planning, job applications and graduate school applications to put down a few words on this blog since I haven’t in, well, years. I feel as if I’m at a the precipice of a future that could turn out to either be great or disappointing — what a great time to revisit an online version of myself from a year and half ago.
This space used to be so close to my heart, a dream finally bursting to fruition. And now, in a world that is overcrowded with travel videos/photos/promotions, it seems more like an escape from the reality of life; the reality of applications and electric bills and trying to fit a yearly visit to extended family into a year with only 365 days.
I’ve reached a point where moving and traveling is more normal than not. If we count all the times I packed everything I owned into a suitcase or car last year, I moved six times. That includes some fun travel, but also a year of feeling stuck in a small town finishing a degree. That just didn’t seem blog-worthy, despite the multitude of experiences it allowed me, not least of all, a part-time job in a custard shop I grew to love.
It’s less glamorous to describe everyday life on a blog, even if everyday life does include good wine and cheese, and the occasional baguette. I find myself surrounded by people here who have the ability to drive through three countries in a single hour, and whose middle school classes go to the UK or Spain. Instead of Florida spring breaks, university students go to Greece or Croatia. I know that doesn’t mean my experiences are any less exciting, useful or valid — but it does mean that it’s more difficult to maintain the “cool” factor of a travel blog. Perhaps I’ve grown out of it. Perhaps I’ve broadened my horizons too much. Perhaps there are simply larger forces in the world that have captured my attentions.
I’ve been living in Metz, France for about four months now, and this place is probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived. The view from my cozy apartment looks out over the Moselle river and the edge of the old town. My roommate and I live under the rafters, literally, and we giggle about how we hit our heads on the ceiling at least once a day — but how we wouldn’t change it for the world; we love this charm.
Even on the teensy TAPIF budget, I’ve been able to travel quite a bit. Back to Tubingen for two weeks in October, a quick trip to Triers, a weekend in Cologne. Multiple trips to Luxembourg (it’s an hour away), a few days in Paris, a road trip in Normandy, a day in Munich over the Christmas holidays. Last summer included a stay in Regensburg, Germany, and with it, a multitude of day trips. I visited Prague for the first time and saw pretty much every sight there is to see in the German state of Baden-Wurtenburg. Current travel plans involve a week in London, a few days in Brighton or Oxford, a weekend in Brussels, and hopefully a week in Morocco (or somewhere else outside of the EU) in April. I’m still searching out plans for the summer, preferably something where I could earn some money and professional experience. At the least, something that would allow me not to wallow in my childhood bedroom wishing for public transportation and nights out with German/French friends.
I’ve stopped doing a lot of things I used to whenever I traveled. I stopped journaling partially since I don’t feel like I’m traveling, partially because now I have someone to discuss how my day went with every night. I’ve stopped blogging — obviously. I’ve finished studying, for the moment. All my reading is purely for pleasure and to keep up with current events! But I have started things too — I travel with more quality and intention as opposed to quick weekend trips. I’ve been learning German and am proudly 130 pages into the first Deutsch Harry Potter book. I work now, though teaching French high schoolers has been far less than intellectually satisfying. I’ve been working on New Years resolutions of dedicating more time to books and yoga, and so far, that’s been successful.
I haven’t decided what to finally do with this space. Perhaps I’ll get back to posting tips. Perhaps I’ll try to keep the world a bit more updated as to what is going through my head at any given moment. Perhaps I’ll let it sit, and come back to it in a year with a totally different outlook on life. On verra, Schauen wir mal, We shall see. Until then,