There are so very many things I want to talk about right now. I want to talk about relationships, about relationship equality, about body image, about changing body image, I want to talk about cankles, and how I just watched my crazy downstairs neighbor smoke in the rain and then take off his sweatshirt and his shirt and dry heave and then 2 other neighbors asked him if he needed help and he didn’t respond, and then he hid behind a tree in the corner like someone on a bad trip. And then he came inside. I want to tell you all about these things in great detail.
But I am crazy town exhausted today, like if I could have left work early on wednesday and come home and slept for 12 hours, I would have. And if I could skip out on work right now I would. But I don’t have any free pto until… July, because I’ve spent it all even before I’ve earned it. Sigh. Sigh x 1000. And one of the big reasons why I have no usable PTO is Barcelona. We leave next TUESDAY! Can you believe it?? I still kind of can’t. To me heading off to Europe is still many moons away. But this is all just a lie I tell myself so I can get through the next few days of work.
And for those of you who don’t know (which is most of you), this is only the 2nd time I’ve been to Europe. Most everyone I know has traveled much more than I have. When I was a kid we didn’t travel outside the US and Canada, and when I was in college the study abroad programs were too expensive for me. So I vowed that I would go places in my 20s. So far I’ve been to Mexico 4 times and Paris once. And now Barcelona. But because you didn’t know me back when I was 23, I thought I would share some vintage Lauren travel moments. Alone in France, figuring it out as best I could:
I was by myself, so I took a lot of self portraits because fuck it, I’m in Paris and when is this going to ever happen again? Hopefully a lot. Because of these self portraits I feel like some of the photos resemble some Photoshop action. Like maybe I wasn’t actually there, but I just pasted my head in.
For the first few days I palled around with two Canadian dudes who were from Toronto. They loved to tell me how fucked up the United States was. One of them took this photo. I still think I look photoshopped.
This is me on the top of Notre Dame. I am clutching a tube. That tube holds a precious print of venus I bought at the louvre, it also holds an oil painting I bought for my parents. I left that tube in 3 places and had it magically returned to me. 1) At an ATM in Paris and a homeless man chased me down to give it back. 2) At the security gate in Huston and 3) In the bathroom above the sink at SFO on my way to Seattle to deliver it. It did, finally, make it to my parents safe and sound and now hangs in their dining room.
This is me, outside the Louvre at the fountains. At the time I was big into the kissy face. I no longer have that jacket with the peter pan collar.
My last day in the city I was bored. Super bored. I had spent 10 days exploring and I had nothing left to do and no more money and all the people I had met at the beginning had already left and I was done. So I decided to try and walk my way to the Eiffel tower from my hostel. And then once I got there I ate a hot dog in a baguette, spilled ketchup on my shirt, and took a million self portraits. And then I walked back.
This is a picture of my hostel room. I slept on the bottom bunk nearest the door. And I shared the room with 5 other people, mostly dudes. One of the dudes was a burly Italian who walked around in his little boy underpants decorated with an anchor and who snored so loud i had to use earplugs. The dude in the photo is one of the Canadians mentioned earlier.
Lots of people at work and such are asking if I’m excited for Spain. It’s hard for me to be excited until I’m on the plane because there is so much to do before I get there. A lot of people keep offering up suggestions on what to do and where to go and what to see. Some of the information has been super helpful (we’re definitely looking to rent bikes, we’re definitely going to enjoy the late night atmosphere), but mostly I’m looking forward to a self guided walking tour we’ve found and the ability to stumble upon amazing things you’d never had expected. And this time I’m really excited to have a buddy to go with.