They sent me to Binghamton

I've always wanted to be on the east coast, and the universe responded…by sending me to Binghamton, NY. Oh you've never heard of it? Neither had I, but I do so love adventures and that's how I choose to view this. Let the adventures begin!


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A Quiet Moment over the Seine River

I came to Paris armed with Rick Steves’ Paris 2015 travel book, confident that only logistical planning (and minimal, at that) was required on my part and I would be able to enjoy the city of lights without the hassle of long lines or disappointment at discovering certain places are closed.

“Certainly not I!” said I!

Yeah, well, I was wrong. I’m not sure what part of my brain got miswired while on this trip but even though I expressly recall reading and even writing down on my Google doc which museums are closed on Mondays, I still decided that today, Monday, was a good day to visit the Orsay Museum and Rodin Museum, both of which are closed…in hindsight, I should have saved the Louvre for today (even though the guide warns it is crowded on Mondays) then went to the Orsay Museum and Rodin Museum on Saturday. Alas, I remembered the note that the Louvre was especially crowded and that somehow overrode the note that the Orsay Museum and Rodin Museum are closed on Mondays!

But hey, I got to see the outside of the Orsay Museum so that’s something, right? Right.

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After these museum visits, I was going to walk along the bustling Rue Cler, rub elbows with the locals, and enjoy the fine cheese and wine to my heart’s content along the way! Alas, on Mondays the Rue Cler is dead…but at least I still got to see some of the stores and I was able to drool from the outside, right? Right.

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I’m making fun of myself but actually, it ended up being a really beautiful day and I was able to go see Napoleon’s Tomb and the Army Museum.

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After getting my history on, I decided to go check out the Eiffel Tower since it was, like, right there.

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I read somewhere a couple days ago that it was closed indefinitely after the events of November 13 but I decided to see for myself, just in case. As it turned out, it was open! I went to the first line I encountered, which was stairs only, and immediately purchased a ticket. Now, I knew there was an elevator but due to the miswiring in my brain that I had mentioned earlier, somehow, in my mind, the elevator was closed due to recent events but the stairs were open. After typing that, I realize how little sense that makes but in any case…I had a good work out.

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I took the picture above at what I thought was the highest point tourists were allowed to go because that’s where the stairs ended (the rest were blocked off). And then…that’s when I saw it. The elevator. Apparently, it very much existed and was fully operational. It was also the only way to go all the way to the top, so I did end up taking the elevator. The view up there was nothing short of spectacular!

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By the time I left the Eiffel Tower the sun was about to set, it was getting cold, and I just wanted to go inside a cafe to eat dinner. Yet somehow I was compelled to check this bridge out.

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I actually walked by the bridge but kept looking back so I finally gave in to my compulsion to cross the bridge and I am so glad I did because…

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The photo does not do this justice. It was incredible watching the sun set over the Seine River with the Eiffel tower in the background. For the first time during this trip, I finally found a moment of peace in my mind. I finally was able to let go of things that had been bothering me recently and was able to just breathe. I am not yet nearing the end of my trip (thankfully) but I already know this is going to be one of my favorite moments. I hope I experience more moments like this during this trip. Better yet, I hope I experience more moments like this in my life, even if it’s only a respite from whatever may be bothering me at the time.

To the quiet moments – May we find them, may we have them, and may we appreciate them when they happen.

 

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Being filled with joie de vivre

joie de vivre
ˌʒwɑː də ˈviːvr(ə),French ʒwad vivʀ/
noun
exuberant enjoyment of life.
  1. “they seem to be filled with joie de vivre”

Sometimes you just have to go for it.

You’ve never done it before?

Scared?

About to go out of your comfort zone?

Life seems to be bogging you down with the minutiae of your every day life?

F*&k it. Just do it anyway.

😀 Hah, I’m kidding! Of course, handle your business and do what you have to do first. Just know that if it really is a priority for you, whatever it may be, you’ll make it happen and I truly do believe the universe will help you out. Trust yourself. Have faith.

As for me, I love to travel. I also love being alone. I just have never combined the two when it comes to international travel because…well, it’s really scary being a single woman traveling when it’s not something I’ve ever done before! Plus, given that I’m traveling to Paris, France shortly after the unfortunate events of November 13, 2015 happened, I was a bit worried. But…I really wanted to go and so…

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All packed for Paris!

I also found this amazing place via Airbnb located pretty much in the center of the city.

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“Street” where the Airbnb space was located

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Really awesome space!

So I am currently embracing life, getting lost, and falling in love with this beautifully architected city.

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Notre Dame (from the side)

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View from the Notre Dame Tower

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Louvre Museum

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Pont des Arts

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View from the Arc de Triomphe

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Arc de Triomphe

Cheers to traveling internationally by yourself, not speaking the language but learning important words on the fly, such as vin chaud (hot wine).

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Enjoying my very first cup of vin chaud!

 


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That one time I went to Hartford, Connecticut

During Memorial day weekend my friends and I went to Hartford, Connecticut to watch the east coast CrossFit regionals. It was great to watch the amazing athletes (as always), hang out with my friends, and have some quality alone time when my friends left a day earlier than I did. Right before they left, they asked me if I knew what I was going to do by my lonesome self on Memorial day.

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Truthfully, given that I use my google calendar as an extension of my being in my day-to-day life, when it comes to vacations, I like to just go with the flow. Do what I feel like at that moment. Disconnect from the world, my calendar, and my usual list of things to do. Pretend like I’m not this uptight, schedule-driven, type A person for a temporary period of time and just let myself be. That day ended up being beautiful and sunny so I decided to hang out at the Elizabeth Park.

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The intent was to spend a couple hours at the park, walking leisurely through the beautiful grounds and perhaps spend half an hour or so reading whatever book I was engrossed in at that time then go explore some other cool spot in Hartford. I ended up spending the entire afternoon lying on my yoga mat at the park, basking in the sunlight and enjoying my book. Ah yes, one of the many perks of being alone is the ability to do exactly what you want to do (guilt-free!) even if it may seem lazy to others.


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Free as a bird

In a few weeks, I will be embarking on my first solo international trip to Paris! Well, Paris, Versailles, likely Reims, and Zurich. SO excited!! This trip wasn’t initially intended as a solo trip but the people I would have gone with are unavailable, so I think it’s a sign for me to go forth and wander on my own!

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Have I mentioned how much I’m loving life right now? I am truly blessed. 🙂