First International Adventure

Testing website for a luxury cruise line made it so I constantly had photos of beautiful destinations to tempt me away from home. Namely, a quaint looking storybook village in France called Strasbourg right on the border of Germany.

A month before my 25th birthday, I decided I had to take a trip! France was my destination. I looked into plane tickets and train tickets, hotels, hostels versus Airbnb, and so much more. Then I realized that there was no way I could afford that in a month. The prices would end up being around $2,000.

The only thing that could possibly make the trip affordable was a travel companion. I ask cousins, my best friend, regular friends, and even close acquaintances, but no one was up for the financial burden.

Instead, I spent my birthday weekend at my first music festival, Life is Beautiful in las Vegas. But I was definitely not giving up on my dream to see that quaint storybook village in France.

Months of watching plane tickets from LAX to Paris, and I found a great deal on a round trip ticket in the time frame I was aiming for (April-May, the off season and when it’s not too cold. TravelPirates.com showed me a round trip ticket for $440, then put Travel Insurance on top for an additional $25. I was sold!

It’s February and I have been talking about this with anyone who would listen for months. I’m going to take my first trip out of the country solo! But everywhere I turned, people were telling me it wasn’t financially responsible; It’s too dangerous to go by myself; Why don’t I go someplace closer?

So as I stared at my shopping cart with my credit card in hand, I doubted everything. I feared everything that I was told was true. It’s so much money, should I wait until I could save up more? I’d be alone, what if everything that could go wrong does? I’d been learning French, but was it enough to get by? So many negative thoughts spinning around in my head.

Then I thought, Stop! This is a goal of yours, a pull that you’ve felt in your heart for years now. You’ve done lots of research about the area which is relatively safe. You can handle situations by yourself, you’ve done so many times here at home. Out of the many things you’ve spent money on, this experience and chance to learn more about yourself and what you can handle is well worth the price.

So I did it! I bought my plane ticket! I was so nervous, excited, happy, afraid, proud… all of it was exhilarating and I was just sitting sitting at my desk alone at work during my 15 minute break. Imagine all of the wonderful and life changing moments I could experience in France.

I set to work creating an itinerary that included times, locations, phone numbers, confirmation numbers, distance between locations, prices, and more. It’s my coping mechanism to show myself that I’m not as alone as people claim. Though I know some of the best experiences cannot be planned, I strongly believe in safety first.

Thus far, I’ve rented my room in Paris, and filled in my itinerary for the first three days, which include Notre Dame Cathedral, The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, The Catacombs, Cafes, and a day trip to Versailles. I’ve never been so excited

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