Loose ends

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Two weeks to go…..&, while I’m very excited, there are many details to tend to that can create a minor (or major) sense of panic. Yes, I realize that fretting about how one will spend 6 months in France & the UK somewhat affordably is a privileged position to be in. However, my elders point out that it’s all relative so, with that in mind, I tend to the issues at hand.

As I alluded to in my earlier post, I prefer things a touch more planned than they currently are. So many aspects can’t be arranged until we’re there so I’m trying to roll with it.

The budget is a major concern – Ryan won’t be paid at his ‘stages’ and I don’t currently have anything lined up although hope to pick things up along the way. It may be unavoidable but I figure this trip is a good reason to go into a bit of debt.

Amazingly, we already have a few social engagements for during our trip including with the creator of Flavors of Paris (www.flavorsofparis.com) & a fellow Stratford resident, one of those “it’s a small world” situations. Already I’m looking forward to seeing friendly faces as I embark on this adventure.

Where Things Are At

First of all, let me thank you for reading. I suppose there was some fear when I hit “Post” that I’d receive less than enthusiastic comments or, even, none at all. Now the pressure may be what to write for my 2nd, 3rd, & so on posts. Let’s start with a few more details about this trip I mentioned, which really, is all I have.

Perhaps most importantly, the flight is booked! Flying out of Toronto on April 9th to arrive in Paris the next day. My mother was quite relieved to hear there’s also a return ticket – currently October 2nd. That’s six months. That’s a while!

There’s also my travel companion. My partner, Ryan, is a chef & will be “staging” at a few restaurants to expand his culinary repertoire. What I’ll be up to remains to be seen. But I’m attempting to remain open minded to whatever may present itself.

We’ve planned on two nights in Paris once we land (via AirBnB.com) & then will make our way south to a house sitting I’ve arranged in Azille for just over a week. We connected with a lovely couple via TrustedHousesitters.com. For a small registration fee, & after completing your own profile, you’re granted access to postings from home owners from around the world looking for someone to care for their home &/or pets.

From there we’ll spend three months in Menton. Known as “the Pearl of France,” it’s in southern France on the border of Italy. With hopefully lots of short trips to the surrounding areas the plan is to then be in Paris for August & London for September. Of course this still may change but, so far, I’ve no complaints!

Food of France

I’m blogging….How’d we get here?

Here we are, a blog about some of the things going on in my life.

I swear I’m not bragging but my friend Drea has been telling me to write a blog for quite some time. And here it finally is.

It strikes me as an uncomfortably self-indulgent, maybe even self-important act. But I’ll embrace that, at least for a moment, if you’ll allow me.

So what made me change my mind? What was the final push for me to start actually publishing words for the public (however small an audience) to read? A couple things.

For starters, I was laid off. I was a key part of this city’s culinary tourism strategy for four years but, due to ever-shrinking budgets, I was let go. For all kinds of reasons this is for the best long-term including some freedom in my schedule enabling me to spend some time writing.

I’m living in this glorious but small city of Stratford, Ontario. A place where I was born & raised which brings with it all sorts of interesting experiences. Some of which might be worthy of documenting. At least I think so.

Finally, I’m preparing (as much as one can) for a full-out European adventure this April. One that will start in France and hopefully include England, Spain, possibly Belgium, possibly more…

What better way to keep my loved ones & not-so-loved-ones (kidding, maybe) posted on what I’m up to than a blog?! Plans are still very fuzzy, which is in stark contrast to my usual approach in life, but I figure I have enough details to know it’s a good idea.

I hope you’ll follow along. I’ll be posting, of course, all about the trip and some random musings as they occur.