When things don’t go as planned do you take it as a sign, or do you just roll with it and call it a casual happening? Well, if signs were being thrown my way, I dodged them or used my hands to cover my eyes. My intention was clear; nothing was going to stand between me and my first trip to Paris.
To experience clichés in Paris was on top of my travel bucket list I made last year. In fact, it had been on my bucket list since my early teens, but for some reason, it was just a land I hadn’t set foot in – not yet at least.
There was nothing complicated about taking a trip to the city of love. Schedule some days off, book a flight or hotel, pack a bag, and head up to the airport once the time came. Simple enough, right?
Well, don’t get ahead of yourself! That’s what I should have said to myself as I finalised all the details with my sister and a bestie from Italy who was set to meet us in Paris.
The excitement was soaring with each passing day, and as Manchester did what it does best – rain – I couldn’t wait to soak under the summer sun.
But then the rug was pulled and reality hit. By reality I mean my sister discovered she mixed up her graduation date and we would be admiring The Tour Eiffel around the time she should be walking through a podium in cap and gown. Then there was the random email from the airline informing me my wheelchair wouldn’t be allowed on board the plane. In all my years of flying – that was certainly a first.
“This summer belongs to me and Paris”, I repeated several times as one problem arose after another.
We changed our flight tickets, booked a second hotel to make up for the lost time, and sorted the issue with the airline (they admitted they were in the wrong!). My idea to enjoy a relaxing holiday had somehow turned into a war with time.
On travel day I saw the corners of 4 different cities and no sleep. I’m not a morning person by default so waking up at 3 am was something I’d usually say no to. What wouldn’t I do for a trip abroad…?
We took the 5 am train from Manchester to Coventry where my sister eventually got to walk across the podium in her cap and gown. She looked amazing in it, and I can’t lie, it was a sight that made me super proud too!
After a quick photoshoot with the family outside the cathedral, my sister and I chased after the train heading towards London Gatwick where we were set to hop on the evening flight to Orly airport.
I changed into something more comfortable and brushed up on everything except my French.
Not sure how we made it in the end, but somehow, we did. I sat comfortably in the window seat of the 2nd row and thought about all the things that went wrong along the way. I repeated those words to myself again as I dozed off. “This summer belongs to me and Paris…”.
Your restless romantic roamer