LIZ HARROD

When Plans Change

In France, Travel 2011 on June 4, 2011 at 2:52 am

When I first started this trip, I set out to head around the world. My plan was to scoot through Europe as quickly as possible before hitting Greece, Turkey, Egypt and then getting over to Southeast Asia. I wanted to spend about three months traveling there, and then enjoy some time with friends in
Australia before heading back to America via Seattle or LA for a grand voyage across the states, arriving in time for Thanksgiving….

Oh how the plans have changed.

Traveling alone, I’ve learned a lot about myself. Some I’ve shared quite candidly. Some has probably just seeped into my writing naturally. Some I’ve kept under wraps only to be let lose in the sure to be best-selling novel. One thing, though, I’ll happily share now.

I made a plan. I set a goal, and it’s taken me awhile to let go of that – to acknowledge that it is my plan and my goal, and changing my plans and goal doesn’t mean I failed, it just means I’ve changed, and now I have new ideas of what comes next.

So what does come next, and why am I doing it?

Well, as of today, I am officially on the market as an au pair in Paris. I’m available from as soon as we can get a visa until the end of June 2012, and I couldn’t be more confident that this is the right opportunity for me to explore next.

See, when I started this little journey, both literally and figuratively, I’ll admit that I was fleeing my previous professional life, in search of what kind of career or lifestyle would best fuel me. I guess in the beginning, I expected some kind of epiphany. Instead, what I got was a lot of new dreams, a lot of life lessons, and a lot of perspective.

I started without much of a plan on this trip, and I’ve been places I thought I had no desire to go, and I’ve skipped places that I still want to visit. Because of that, I’ve had some of the most amazing experiences I could possibly ask for. This entire trip has been governed by what seemed best at the moment I decided to click “book” on some travel website.

So, I’m trying to keep with this idea of going with what feels right and natural, instead of trying to work out what’s the best decision for where I might want to be ten years from now.

I love Paris, and I’ve wanted to live there for awhile now. Some of my best loved experiences come from working with children. I finally enjoy the challenge of studying a language.

So, I’m moving to Paris to work with kids, live in that beautiful city and finally speak that ridiculous language (beautiful but ridiculous… I mean they still say four twenties for the number eighty, and apparently a chair is not an it but a she).

That means that yes, I’m in Italy for a couple weeks, Greece for a month, and then done with my world traveling for a bit, and yes, I’m a bit saddened by that; but my journey is far from over, and I don’t think this blog will be going anywhere any time soon either.

It just means that life will be a bit different than originally planned.

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