Thursday, February 9, 2017

Paris.

For over 20 years, my ultimate dream has been to visit Paris. It started in high school when I chose French as my foreign language. I loved everything about France, the culture, and the food. Couldn't wait to go.

Through high school, the French class took trips to Paris, but as one of 6 kids in a struggling family, I never could have gone. I remember sitting in class, hearing stories and seeing photos from my classmates' trip, and telling myself I'd go someday.

In college, as a working mom of two young kids, I flirted with the idea of a 6 week travel abroad program my university offered. I'd go to Strasbourg in northeastern France, earn college credits (I was one course from a French minor) and get to fulfill the dream, using student loans to pay the bill I wouldn't have been able to otherwise afford. But it didn't take long for the reality to set in: my marriage was falling apart, my finances were a mess, my kids were young, I couldn't afford to take 6 weeks away from my serving job.

That study abroad opportunity is one of the things I've thought of often over the years, as one thing I really feel I missed out on in life. 

Today, at 37, with two teenage kids, I now have the opportunity to travel. Until 5 years ago, I'd only been on a plane once. In the last few years, I've now left the US three times (Grand Cayman, Mexico, Canada) and visited tons of new places for work and pleasure, and it's magical. Traveling is a bit of an obsession to me now, and I think about it CONSTANTLY.

Ok, so to get to the point of this meandering story - it was time to put France, and Paris, on the list. Pick a date and start saving for it. My daughter Emma pointed this out to me recently -- that I constantly say it's my goal and my dream, but I have yet to do anything about it! It was a wake up call, honestly. My teenager had to point out that I make plans to visit lots of other places but France always felt out of reach.

I picked a date - June 2019. I researched how much I'd need to save and I created a budget to try and save that by then.

On a whim a week or so ago, Matt decided to look online for trips to Europe. He found an 8 day trip for less than half of what we thought the minimum cost would be. We could afford it right now.

After insane amounts of research to be sure this wasn't too good to be true - last Saturday we booked an 8 day trip to Paris and London through Costco travel.

YOU GUYS. I'M GOING TO PARIS!!!!

Seriously, for more than 20 years, it's always been "maybe someday." And now it's someday. I'm so grateful. For the opportunity. For a job that allows me plentiful vacation time. For a husband that cares so much about making my dreams come true.

I've sobbed with pure joy. And I'll spend the next 6 months researching every possible thing in anticipation. 

In my last post on this blog, I told a little story I thought was pretty cute. I pinned a cool pic of Las Vegas, forgot about it for a long time, and then recently realized I'd had that exact view on my first trip there.

The point of that story was that putting things out there in the universe, in the realm of possibility, as a concrete outcome that can be achieved -- that can actually make things happen. It changes the way your mind sees it, and changes the decisions you make that can impact the outcome.

I can't believe this is happening! :) So excited. 

Source: Pinterest (I shall try to recreate this scene in Paris...)