Monthly Archives: April 2014

Its a Wale of a tale

Now that the days of my stay here in Wales are coming to an end, I feel inspired to write a how to guide on all that is Wales. Buckle up, its a Wale of a tale.

Firstly, transportation. The taxis are pretty cheap, you can get most anywhere for less than £10, sometimes less than £5. Make sure to bring friends with you, it will lower the cost even more. If you need to take a taxi, whether you’re in Cardiff or in Carmarthen, call ahead of time. If there are taxis waiting, their waiting for their caller. Its not like America where you can flag down a cab on the spot. Aside from taxis, the busses are cheap and if you know where you’re going, it will only cost a couple of pounds. Either get a bus card or buy one on the bus. They give you a ticket right then and there. Getting to and from cities and town you’ll have to rely on the trains or busses. Megabus is a great line for cheap busses but warning, their hours of service are awful. I took a bus from Swansea to London at 4:30 AM. The trains are cheap as well. If you plan on doing a fair amount of traveling by train its smart to invest in a rail card. They’re about £30 but it will save you a third in rail fees. It pays for itself in no time. This is a must have for students and penny pinching business men. Flying in the UK can be cheap. You need to do your research to find cheap flights however. You can get from Manchester, England to Dublin, Ireland for $17. Easy Jet and Ryanair are the cheapest ways to get around. But be warned, they are cheap for a reason. They lack amenities other airlines provide for free. Do your research before buying.

Housing, living in the UK is expensive; even for me a student! I cried when I saw my bank account after submitting my housing payment. So look into couch surfing, cheap hostels, sharing an apartment or house with friends. As with anything, there are ways to cut corners, you just need to find them. However, be warned because your housing in Wales will most likely be the most expensive part of your stay.

Food! I love food! I love eating and I love cooking. One of the things I love about living in the UK is that I can cook much more for myself than I ever did as a student in America. So a couple money saving tips; don’t go shopping on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. its all more expensive because everyone flocks to get groceries on the weekend. Go on a weekday evening if you can. Second, go at night. Tescos is open 24 hours a day. So go later in the day. The store is trying to sell off things that have gone so you can buy a loaf of bread for pennies. That’s right I said pennies. You can bring it home and freeze it for later use. The expiration dates in Wales are different for two reasons. One, the expiration date expires early so there are no lawsuits over food gone bad. They cover their bases unlike America, land of the lawsuit. Secondly, the expiration date simply says when the food is no longer at its peak. its the best it will ever be the day of or the day before the expiration date. You can eat food for weeks after the date has gone. I’ve eaten break for two weeks after the date went. Just smell it, look at what you want to eat and use your best judgement. Buy value brand. If you buy value brand you will save so much more than just buying a nice brand. The food is the same. Look for the deals. Sometimes you can get 2 for 1. Also, check the weight. A pack of cheese may only be a £1 but if its 1KG and theres a 3KG pack of cheese for £1.5, well the better deal is the £1.5. I love to cook, so you can do what you like on this one, but I buy a lot of my own meat and veggies and I cook it myself. It lasts for several dinner and its healthier. I bought a whole chicken today for £3 and it’ll last me long past the weekend. Put some veggies and rice with it, you can have a home made meal for less than a pound. A little effort goes a long way when it comes to food shopping. Don’t be lazy and you’ll have no problem cutting back on the costs.

Party! Buy a flask! store it in your sports jacket or in your purse. Then, if you want buy a drink or two, but drinking in the UK can be really expensive. So look for bars with cheap drinks or discounts. Or you can be a cheeky girl like me, I use a flask and I buy nips (small bottles of alcohol) and I order a coke or lemonade and make my own drinks. It’ll save you about £3 per drink. If you’re a girl and you want to drink for free, I hate to say it, but suck that waist in, push those boobs up and strut your stuff. You’ll have a drink in your hands in no time. For you students, I go to the union. Sure, its not London or Cardiff, but its cheap, its on campus and its fun.

Lastly, the people! I find people in Wales to be extremely friendly and kind. I met some of my best friends the night I arrived in Wales. Again, I tell you the night I arrived in Wales. I forced myself to go outside and mingle and I met some amazing people. They welcomed me in right away. They were so excited that I was American and we’re still my close friends today. If you want to meet people in Wales, just go up and talk to them. They wont bite (unless you ask). They’ll either welcome you in with open arms or if they don’t, then shrug it off and try again; who needs them anyways?

Wales is a hidden gem. It doesn’t get too many tourists or foreigners as everyone wants to be in London. But I assure you, this country is just as homey and nice. There are rolling hills everywhere you look, green surrounds you, and the nightlife in the cities is unforgettable. Its the place that I’ve come to call home and I learned to love. Give Wales a chance and I promise you, you will love it, too.

til next time.

HOSTELS!

HOSTELS. In all capital letters I might add. I absolutely love hostels. Now, don’t get me wrong, if I have the money, one day I’d sure love to stay in a five star hotel with a restaurant you need to dress up to enter, a spa and maids and butlers waiting on my every need. That sounds like the life. But right now, I am a student, and I can barely afford to buy food let alone a night in a five star hotel. (any of you got $5,000 laying around?) So I stick to hostels. And honest to god, I love them. You are bound to get some bad experiences in hostels, as you would in a hotel, but don’t let that discourage you from trying again and again and again. I’ve stayed in good hostels and bad ones. When I went to Edinburgh I stayed in the Belford Hostel, it was £19 for 2 nights. or for you americans, $32. it was a converted church. There was a common room with a television, a bar, a big kitchen and lots of tables for eating, watching movies, blogging and anything else you needed. The people running the hostel were very nice. They were accommodating on everything. We were able to leave our luggage at the hostel for a pound and towels were a pound as well. Linens were provided and the beds were very comfortable. Lockers were there for your use and store your valuables. Everyone at the hostel was really nice. People from all over the world were there. Aussies, French, Spanish, eastern Europeans, Americans and more. I met some extremely friendly people are the hostel and its got to be one of the best hostels I’ve stayed in.

Now I stayed in another hostel in Japan. I was only there a night, but one night was enough. The beds were very uncomfortable. You had to make them yourself, which I don’t mind doing but most hostels have housekeeping. Each bed came with a pillow, but the pillow was one of those that’s made out of those little beans/pills. it feels like rice. we joked around saying our morning breakfast was in the pillows. It was insanely uncomfortable and there weren’t any extra pillows. Now I always bring my pillow pet with me to hostels because you never know. The next morning we were up at 6AM. I don’t know about you but I’m not a morning person. Maybe if morning was at 12 PM I would be. All the sheets and duvets had to be stripped and thrown on the floor. We gathered our stuff and got ready to go. The showers weren’t available in the morning only at night. This is a huge problem for me, firstly because I have very curly hair and sleeping on wet curly hair is a huge no-no. Secondly, showering wakes me up. It gets me ready to go for the day. Not being able to shower kept me in sleepytime mode for much longer than usual. In a dorm of about 16-20, there were 2 outlets. 2! Everyone was fighting for one. Especially since our drive home was hours long. The hostel attendant, excuse my language, was a total bitch. She was a Nazi. She chose two boys and to girls. One from each ethnicity. And she had us clean the entire hostel! About 40 people stayed there that night! We had to fold all the sheets and blankets in such a pristine way that she barked at us if it wasn’t perfect, which it wasn’t most of the time, by her impossible standards. She showed us how to fold the duvets in Japanese, not even trying to speak English. We did it the way she told us and she threw the duvet on the floor telling us it was wrong. Finally, what felt like century later we got the sheets folder and got the hell out of there. Just when I thought things were finally getting better, I discovered these itchy bumps on my legs. Yes, I had been the lucky one to get bed bugs. I was extremely pissed off. Not because of the bugs, I can deal with them. But because the hostel owner was so bent on keeping the hostel clean and pristine yet there were bed bugs! If I knew better Japanese I would have cussed her out right there and then. Screw culture norms. In the hostel there was a gym and a common room, but no bar, no television, no games or anything. To be fair, the hostel is on a mountain and usually people stay there to see the mountain and hike and swim and kayak but as we were in rainy season, none of those happened. So despite this, I continue staying in hostels. You are bound to find some bad ones, but when you find the good ones, you strike gold.  To make sure you strike gold, do your research and search for some of these things, they can really make the difference between a lousy time and a great time.

-Lockers; for security reasons.

-Small or large dorms. personally, I prefer small, makes things quieter.

-Common rooms, helps you meet new people and make new friends

-A good kitchen. Making your own food and really save you some big money, so make sure theres a big kitchen for you to make some grub

-meals included. some hostels include free breakfast. Any meal that you don’t  have to pay for is more money in your pocket for you to spend traveling

-Security. The more security, the better in my opinion. it makes things a little safer and a little more comfortable.

-Housekeeping; the last thing you want to do before you head off is make your own bed. Make sure theres housekeeping you get you out of the hostel earlier and faster to explore the city.#

-check out times; I cant stress how important this is. On your last day, checking out at 9 AM is much worse that checking out at 10AM, 11Am, or 12PM

-Wifi; especially if you’re like me and attached to your phone. make sure theres good wifi so you can check in, keep up with friends, check maps and lastly, blog.

-lastly, cheaper isn’t always better. Don’t be afraid to spring for the hostel that has housekeeping and breakfast for a few extra dollars. your wallet may not like it, but I guarantee you, its better than bed bugs.

Til next time.

Coming home

Traveling is amazing. Its eye opening. Literally, it opens your eyes to all the people and culture and magic of the world. You learn that the world is more than just your own little universe. And its enlightening, its life changing and its something every person should do. Whether its traveling to another part of your country of origin or traveling across the world, travel has lasting effects that will open your eyes and mind forever.

So cheesy, I know.

But the point I’m getting at with this post is that traveling is really great. really, really. But so is coming home. I came home after three weeks of traveling throughout the United Kingdom and a bit of France. it was great seeing parts of the country I have learned to call home over the pas four months and visit a city I have dreamed about for years on end. I stayed with families and friends, and even in a hostel. (See my guide on hostels) And I really enjoy meeting peoples families. I like seeing where they come from. I like meeting my friends parents and see the similarities and differences. I like learning a persons background and history. I don’t know, maybe it helps me escape my own. Moving on, it does make you miss your own family. I love my family, but we’ve never been super close. We don’t have family game nights or family vacations. (I haven’t been on vacation with my family in almost 5 years!) But it does make you miss the family you have. I did miss laughing with my mom over something silly she or I did; or even something funny the cats did. I did miss my stepdad going on about the bullshit world we live in today and the changes that need to be made. I did miss my brother; my serious, reserved, completely-the-opposite-of-me brother. I encountered so many kind people on my travels. Whether it was someone on the metro, a compliment from a gorgeous guy in Edinburgh or a family I stayed with in York, Lancaster or Paris. I saw so much kindness to someone they didn’t know or barely knew. Where I’m going with this is, its different staying with kind people than staying in your own home. Staying in someone else’s home, you constantly have to be on. Can I help with this, let me get that for you. And I love helping out, but I cant mess up or let the dishes wait til morning like I would in my own home with my own family. I cant have pizza, ice cream and lemonade for breakfast like I would in my own house. I learned so much from my travels and I can only try and repay the families and friends I made for the kindness they have shown me. But it is good to be home!  Its good to be back in the familiar where I know where I am going and I have a routine and have my own friends. When you are in a new place, its hard. Its like being like a baby. Everyone has to help you from point A to point B. Even harder in a country where your native language isn’t spoken I might add. its especially hard for a woman like me who if you know me, you know I am stubborn and independent and I never want help from anyone else. It feels good to be back with my friends. I don’t know how it will feel when I have to leave them. I cant fathom it. I don’t want to. But its a part of life. One door closes and another opens. This wont be the last of me.

So coming home, we’ve all got to do it sometime. Whether you’ve been away for a week, a month or a year, its going to happen eventually. Take your time going back home. Make sure you’re ready. it isn’t always easy. The longer you’ve been away, the harder it is to come home. There is re-entry shock. its adapting to a foreign country(ies) and then having to go home and readapt. Reach out to those around you. Let your boss know, tell your parents. talk to a pet, a friend, a hobo. Anyone who you think can help or even just lend an ear. A plant maybe? The carbon dioxide will certainly help the plant. Take your time getting back into life. Don’t rush. it’s not easy. Between the jet lag and missing your friends, or your former host country, it can be really hard and saddening to come home. I bawled my eyes out leaving Japan after a one months stay. Don’t lock up your memories. You will most likely have some souvenirs, some pictures, don’t thrown them in a box and lock them away. Keep them around. Cry if you need to. But don’t push that part out of your life. Remind yourself what a great time you had and that, yes, you can go back again! And this time around different experiences will be had and enjoyed. Enjoy time with your friends, family, colleagues and peers. Keep yourself busy, but make sure to rest after a long journey (especially if there was a lot of jet lag). lastly, when you’re ready, get back out into the world. For as long or as little as you like. the world is your oyster. But don’t wait forever. Because the world isn’t waiting for you, so don’t you wait for the world.

Til next time.

Easy guide to Easy Jet

Easy Jet was a company I never even hear of until I came to Europe. Then I started to hear about flights to Paris, Prague, Rome, Athens, Berlin, Amsterdam and more for less than $75 roundtrip. It seemed too good to be true but I didn’t question it. Turns out it was.

Easy Jet is a great airline and I’m not here to bash them. But I am here to give you an insight of what you will face should you choose to fly with them. Firstly, if you are not from the UK or the EU good luck flying because its hard. It took me ages to get through security just because I was American. And I wasn’t alone. I saw Arabs, other Americans, Asians and more in line with me. There was only one woman working at the counter so it took ages to get through. They kept sending me back and forth between the regular line and the customer services line. Be aware that if you are not from the UK or the EU traveling with this company will be difficult. Secondly, buy your luggage online! Before you fly! If you don’t, like I didn’t, you will pay a fortune. Whats best is to bring a backpacking backpack on and use that. No line for luggage and no charge. That’s what companies like Easy Jet and Ryanair were created for, to fly backpackers like me, and you to countries for cheap money. If you do need to check in your luggage it will cost you. So save your pennies for drinks, for admission to a temple or for virtually anything else by packing light and bringing a carry on. Its so much easier. Easy Jet has a small boarding window. Meaning, theres not a lot of time to catch your plane if you are running late. So make sure you have a game plan when you enter the airport. Know where you’re going, what you’re doing and most importantly, have your travel documents ready! this means your passport, boarding pass, and for any students studying abroad, bring your letter of acceptance otherwise you will be denied access to the only country you can call home at the moment. Luckily, I had a copy of it on my phone (thank god for wifi) but if I didn’t, I’d be sleeping in the airport, taking sink showers and praying that someone on campus could fax my letter to me. Theres no first class on easy jet, and when they come around with snacks, they are NOT complimentary. It will all cost you (that’s where they make their money) so fill up your water bottle with tap water; its all the same. Pack a lunch before you go, otherwise you could be paying some serious dough to feed yourself. Other than that, Easy Jet is a great company to get from point A to point B. its not first class, there no lobster or champagne but its cheap and it gets the job done. So which do you prefer; luxury for a price or cheap everything. I know my answer, but this ones all on you. If you can spare the pennies by all means. As for me, I’d rather use that money for an extra night (or week!) Exploring a country. The choice is yours.

Til next time

French men versus men from the rest of the world

Paris is a mecca for women. Its a temple; the holy grail. We flock to Paris for one reason and one reason only. For the men. Parisian men are not only delicious but romantic as well. Whats better than an exotic, handsome french man whispering sweet nothings in your ear? I can only think of one thing and its not appropriate for this site. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what I´m talking about. I´ve encountered a lot of men here. From all walks of life. Parisian men, venezualian men, and more. But French men stand out to me the most. They are bold, they are sweet, they are romantic and in all honesty, they can be pigs. Like all other men, not all are the same. No French man is the same. However, after spending a week in France, four months in the United Kingdom, a month in Japan and twenty one years in America, here is my personal guide, from me to you, on French men versus men from the rest of the world.

Love is a game we all play. And its safe to say that when it comes down to love, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Love is hard, its tough, it isn’t easy and some are just better at it than others. Love is a game I never really cared for. I always watched from the side lines figuring when it was my time, my coach of life would call me in and pass the ball to me. Things are different in France from America, Japan, and the UK. Very different. I was walking in Saint Michael, where Notre Dame is. I was applying my chapstick, not trying to look sexy at all and yet guys kept whistling at me. I should probably mention I was wearing sneakers, a shirt and leggings that haven’t been washed since I can’t remember when and my hair was up in a messy bun. I slicked some foundation on in the morning (only because it has sunblock in it and I actually care about my skin). The last thing I wanted to do that day was get a mans attention. Yet there I was applying my chapstick and the men are acting like dogs and I have a big, juicy steak in my hand. Whats the deal? French men find natural attractive. Let me rephrase that. They like girls who are naturally beautiful. So the thick eyeliner and the bold lipstick; leave it at home because it doesn’t belong in France. And when the men find a girl they think is naturally pretty, they will let you know. See what I mean about being bold? They are about as subtle as a gun. They will tell you, Hello pretty girl. Hello, how are you today? You are so pretty, pretty girl. Except they say this in French which makes it that much more irresistible. Yes, men in America cat call. But they only cat call if you are wearing something revealing or sexy. I can walk down the street in Paris in my onesie and the men will be hooting and hollering. Men in France like to treat a woman. This means they will meet you at a bar and treat you to a drink or two, or more depending their intentions. One of the things I liked about Paris is there wasn’t any grinding. No dry humping or rubbing of the genitals against one another to techno music. Men danced with you like you were doing the waltz or the tango, but to Timber by Pitbull. They didn’t try to grab my ass or shove their hands down my shirt. I felt like a lady, a sexy lady. The men there appreciate women of all types. Curvy, thin, short, tall. You name it, there is a French guy waiting for you. I feel that I should follow up that thought with another one. You must be aware that most if not all French men will try to get you into bed. They will whisper romantic thoughts into your ears until you submit. They are very suave and smooth with the ladies. It isn’t a rumour that Paris is the city of love. Its been said for a reason. So if you do decide to go to bed with a French man (no judgements here! you go girl!) then just be careful as you would with any other guy. If an American or British man wants to get you into bed, he will tell you, and he wont be romantic about it. Or he will try to get you drunk. Or both. As I’ve said, this isn’t every guy. Not every French guy is romantic and not every British or American guy is a pervert. There is the belief that French men often cheat on their girlfriends or wives. I cannot confirm or deny this. As with anything, keep an open mind until you experience it yourself. What you are reading is only one persons opinion. There are many more opinions out there, most importantly, yours. I met a French guy in Paris who was very polite. He spoke to me in English, helped correct my French when I needed it and he treated me every now and again. I accidentally spilled his beer and he was a gentleman about it. He has a girlfriend, and as far as I know he is loyal to her. So not every stereotype is accurate. I will tell you however, that in my week long stay in Paris, about ten guys tried to pick me up, I was propositioned for sex and when I said no, a threesome. I even went out on a date. That’s Paris. What I’ve learned is that British men are much more cavalier. They are aloof, and mysterious and it takes ages, absolutely ages to get anywhere with a british man. Whereas in france, you are saying I love you’s and meeting the families within a month. Japan is a completely different game. Over there, couples do not embrace in public (opposite from france where people were playing tonsil hockey everywhere). Men do  not hug women and women do not hug men. If you think landing a man in America or Britain is hard, go to Japan. Its a completely different ball game. So there you have it. French men, British men, American men and Japanese men. But as I said, there is good and bad in every person and no man are the same. Stereotypes are not always true (nor are they always false). Get into the (dating) game and make your own decisions. Because when it comes to love, we are all winners, we just need to step into the ring.

Til next time

Metro Etiquette

I´m a big fan of using etiquette in any situation. I appreciate the people who use their please´s and thank you´s. The people who hold doors, and give up their seats to others. It matters to me and in life. Now, I´m no proper princess, I´ve burped in public before, I´ve forgotten to put my napkin on my lap and I´ve been so tired that I didn’t give my seat up to the lady with three kids. But most of the time I try to use etiquette on the metro or where ever I am! So, as I am in Paris, here is a guide on Metro etiquette: (can be applied for the bus, train and other places as well!)

Firstly, eat BEFORE you get on the metro. Put down the subway, finish your crepe, chug down that soda. No one wants crumbs on them or to step in your mess from your meal. No one wants smacking or loud chewing next to them on a long metro ride. The metro comes every couple of minutes. It won’t kill you to finish your snack before getting on the metro. Plus, the metro gets busy and you don’t want someone in your food just as they don’t want to be in it either.

Second, if you have a crying baby, calm the baby down before getting on. If you are already on the metro and your little one starts bawling, fine, try and calm him or her down as best you can. But if you´re waiting for the metro and your kid is wailing, wait until they stop crying to get on. No one likes a crying baby on their way home from a long day of work. Be respectful to the fact that a crying baby is one of the worst sounds. Even the people who love and obsess over kids (we all know one) don’t want to hear that. In lieu of this rule, if you need to breast feed, don’t do it on the metro. The metro is too crowded to nourish your child. Cover yourself and your baby and do it while waiting for the metro or even better, do it in a restroom. The sign that has a little baby on the seat; thats what those bathrooms are made for. Use it. I know its nature and its natural and its a beautiful thing, but leave the beauty for the good looking guy or girl that you drool over.

Thirdly, If you are an able bodied person, then give up your seat to someone who needs it. The people who need it being:

The woman who is heavily pregnant or has 2, 3, 4, 5 or more kids. The frail old lady or old man who needs a cane to walk. A disabled person; a person who in a wheelchair, who is missing a limb, on crutches, or injured.

Don’t be selfish. These people need it more than you do. Your heels may be killing you (next time you won’t wear them (I´ve learned that lesson the hard way)). You might be tired but you´re almost home. Or you´re just lazy. Don’t be, these people need the seat more than you. Be polite, be kind, be a lady or a gentleman and give your seat to the person who needs it.

Fourthy, if you want to listen to music; I can’t go anywhere without my headphones; make sure its not too loud. Not everyone wants to listen to booty booty rocking everywhere. And if you do listen to music USE YOUR HEAPHONES. do not blast your music. Its rude and no one wants to hear it.

Fifth, turn your cell phone on vibrate. No one wants to hear your cell phone repeatedly ringing with that annoying ass ringtone. Turn it on vibrate or silent. If your phone does ring, wait to answer it until you get off the metro or out of the station. No one wants to hear you cackling about what Joe did last night or what Sally wore to the bar. No one wants to hear you tell Jenny about how you threw up last night because you were so drunk. Save it for later. No one cares and no one wants to hear your stories. Save it for someone who cares.

Sixth, if you bump into someone say sorry! Don’t just run away, be polite, apologize. I get so angry when people bump into me. But thrown a simple apology my way and all is forgiven. And, guys, if someone does bump you, don’t be an asshole about it. Don’t make them feel guilty or hound them. Say its no problem and move on. Your should may hurt and your foot might sting but get over it. They didn’t mean it. Get off your high horse and forgive them.

Seventh, Luggage. We all use it. Whether its a backpack or a suitcase we all use luggage from time to time. Despite this, there is protocol to use when lugging your luggage across a city via the metro. First, there are usually luggage racks. Use them! that’s what they are there for. The train companies didn’t put them in to look pretty. its there for a reason. if there are no luggage racks, make sure to try and keep your luggage stores as neatly and out of the way as possible. Typically there are overhead shelves to put bags and briefcases. If your luggage is too big for the shelves, hold it next to you. Make sure it is out of the way as possible. its your luggage, your responsibility. Lugging my suitcases around has really taught me to travel lighter over the past couple years. Do the best you can with your luggage. Try and be as neat as possible. And next time, travel lighter, it really makes everything easier. Trust me, I learned this lesson the hard way.

Eighth, The elevator. I use the elevator when I have luggage that is too heavy to carry or bring on the escalator (Another reason to travel light). But even then, I still use the stairs if I am able. So should you. The key word here is able. I was in Paris rushing to make my plane and I had to wait for the elevator because two able bodied women decided they wanted to take up the last two spaces on the elevator. Thankfully I didn’t miss my flight, but the point is, you shouldn’t be taking the elevator unless you have to. its reserved for heavily pregnant women, families with strollers or disabled people. If you can walk and you aren’t carrying fifty pounds of luggage you do not need the elevator, be considerate of those who do. And remember, a little exercise never hurt anyone (especially me). Think before you press that button; can I take the stairs instead? if not, press away my friend!

Thats it for now. But remember, you didn’t grow up in a barn, you were raised by wolves. Don’t act like it. You are an adult and you know how to behave like one. Do you best to be polite and kind to those around you.

Til next time.

Maybe I was born with it, maybe its because I´m a woman or maybe its because I am a libra; no matter the reason, I have great intuition. Psychology states that when we meet someone and we get bad a bad feeling from them, its our subconscious, our gut picking up bad vibes from them. Our subconscious can read people better than our mind or heart can. Not to say everyone out there is bad or even good. But if you get a bad feeling when meeting someone or going somewhere; its for a reason. Listen to your gut and make sure to get out of that situation. I experienced this today when I was exploring Paris on my final day. My day consisted of me doing some blogging, making lunch, cleaning and packing. Then I went back to Saint Michael because I couldn’t stop thinking about a wallet I saw there. (I got it, by the way) But then I decided, I still have a couple of hours to kill. So I got back on the metro and chose my next destination. I saw the words Chateau d´eau. Chateau means castle and eau means water, so naturally I thought this meant a castle by the water. Sounds great for exploring! How wrong I was…

I got off the metro and something just felt weird. I followed the signs and the crowd up and out of the metro and this is what I saw:

well firstly, there wasn’t a castle. No castle in sight. I saw lots of people and lots of graffiti. Now before I say this, let me get something clear. I am not a racist, I love all walks of life from people to primates to insects to animals. Now I get easily irritated by people (which has inspired me to write my coming soon post on metro etiquette) but generally I do love all people. I don’t discriminate. If I like you, its because you´re nice, have a good sense of humor, have a lot of money (kidding) or are good looking (men; not kidding). But if I dislike you, its nothing to do with what you look like or who you are, its how you treat me as well as how I see you treat others. So that being said, I walked out the metro and I saw a lot of black people. I have no problem with black people. I actually have a lot of black friends and have dated my fair share of chocolate fellas. But there was something different. These big, hulking guys kept yelling at me, fille, fille! I couldn’t walk down the street without hearing men calling at me. My subconscious was yelling at me. I had bad vibes so I left. I trust my intuition and not only that, I condone exploring; I encourage it, but my french isn’t perfect. I still have a lot of learning to do. you may be able to speak to a professor or a peer in french, but it’s completely different when you are in the country. I got back onto the metro and went to Chateau Rouge; red castle. I don’t believe in one bad experience ruining the rest. Who knows, this could be a real castle. It wasn’t, but the point is not to let one bad experience ruin your time or influence your future. I ended up getting back on the metro and going home (to write about everything.) So my words to you are these:

Trust your intuition, it knows more than you think. 

be careful when you travel, especially if you are alone. Just because you are alone doesn’t mean something will happen to you, but be aware of your surroundings and if something doesn’t feel right DON´T DO IT!

Lastly, and most importantly, don’t let one bad experience ruin your time. Would I have gotten robbed, stabbed or kidnapped in Chateau D´eau? Probably not. But I trusted my intuition and hightailed it out of there. But just because that one part of the city gave me bad feelings doesn’t mean everyone there, or in Paris is bad. Go back out there with an open mind and experience life. You are bound to hit bumps in the road, but thats what makes the ride fun and more importantly, memorable. we are creatures of experience. So get out there and make some memories. 

Til next time.