Where I Am
As the ever-wise Audrey Hepburn said, “Paris is always a good idea“.
After 4 months up at the fishing lodge in Haida Gwaii, I’ve travelled to the near-polar opposite in both location and style. From bumming around in leggings and t-shirts in what I would have called a ‘hobo-chic’ look, I accidentally landed in the fashion capital during Fashion Week, and now realise that my style is just ‘hobo’. But that’s okay, because I’d rather spend my hard-earned cash on adventures, and food, and memories. And food, did I mention the food? Oh, the food!
I’m staying with Danni, a friend from back home who bailed on Australia more than 5 years ago to teach overseas. We went on a trip to Japan back in the day, after which she went to Berlin and never came back. I haven’t seen her in years, so getting to spend some time talking about everything from our shared love of Adam Driver to whinging about over the top Russian/French bohemian theatre has been perfect. It’s like no time has passed.
I’ve been to Paris four times now, and every time I arrive I remember why I keep coming back – even if I can’t seem to properly put it into words. I’ve done all the classic touristy things like the Eiffel Tower, Musée du Louvre, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Musée d’Orsay, etc. on other visits, so this time around I’m content just walking around. And the joy I get in taking 5 hours to get to my destination because I find myself stopping in the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont or Tuileries Garden to read in the sun, or people-watching whilst drinking a super-charged cappuccino near the Seine, is bliss. It sounds wanky, but it really is a sweet way to see this city.
What I’m Doing
It didn’t really occur to me that I was a tad behind on my sleep till I got sick as a dog just before I arrived in Paris. So my mornings are spent snoozing, doing emails, and just generally catching up on life, and my arvos wandering around, chowing down on charcuterie, guzzling natural wine and reading. It’s honestly been awesome to catch up on life, and seeing as though I’m not sure how busy my next few months will be, I gotta do it when I can.
I’m currently stuck into How To Be A Person In The World by Heather Havrilesky on Danni’s recommendation, and it’s surprisingly effective. I’ve been having an internal whinge recently about my niceness being taken advantage of by others and how I just seem to attract tepid, lacklustre assholes. You know, one of those internal monologues that gets you all fired up but then doesn’t go anywhere? And as corny and self-helpy as the book sounds, she’s actually got some pretty brutal yet helpful insights.
“So here’s where we land: You need to tell tepid to fuck right off… If you vow right now that the second you see tepid, you’re going to back up and say “No fucking thanks,” and move on without looking back.”
Fuck yeah, I can get on board with that.
Where I’m Going
Tomorrow I’m heading on over to the beautiful island of Crete in Greece with two friends from Langara. It’s a country I’m yet to visit, and whenever I get a tad closer to my goal of seeing every country in the world I get this nervous excitement radiating through my body. Either that or I’ve got gas.
After that, it’s on to the island nation that I’ve been oh-so excited about reaching – Malta! It’s been on the cards for so long now that only being a week or so from arriving is making me as pumped as a kid in a candy store. Mum’s flying over to meet me for the first week, and then my Dad and brother are joining us for another week. It’s pretty exciting because we’ve been crazy tight for cash for years, and this is the first time in yonks we’ll be able to spend some quality time with each other.
After they bugger off, I’ve got a bit on my plate. I’ve been freediving for a while now, but just of my own accord. So I’m finally getting my freediving certs, which means I’ll be able to keep training and get my freediving instructor cert in due time. After that, I’m going to get my RYA Competent Crew yachting cert and will be well on the way to my dream of buying a boat and sailing it around the world. No big deal, eh?
While I’m doing all that, I’ve scored a gig volunteering at a hostel in St. Julian’s in Malta. I love volunteering at hostels, because not only do you get free accommodation (saving about €600 a month), but you meet a heap of people from all over the shop. Travelling solo can get a tad lonely, and this is the easiest way I’ve found to find new matey potateys in a new city.
Bring it on, Mediterranean!
one must arise
above all this shit,
destiny is only a whore if we make her
let’s light lights
let’s suffer in the grand style —
toothpick in mouth, grinning.
we can do it.
we were born strong and we will die
the manner of our living
like ocean liners in the fog…
thorns on roses…
blasé boys trotting the parks in swim suits…
it has been very
like stems into the sky
will forever cry
– “song for this softly-sweeping sorrow” By Charles Bukowski