Although I’d been to Europe a few times before, pretty early on I had a realization: Europe is one big juxtaposition. Maybe I only realized this now because in Germany it seems to be a lot more heightened, but I was super curious about how so many cultural factors on this beloved continent were… opposites. Here’s what I mean...
This past Wednesday I had my 23rd birthday, which was a self-celebration that made me have a few “aha” moments. When I thought about what I wanted to do this year to celebrate my day, I went through a plethora of possibilities. I could host a BBQ, go out in the city, invite friends out for dinner, the list goes on. But honestly, every time I thought about planning one of these options, my introverted brain got SUPER stressed out. I mean… just exhausted thinking about it.
Its that time of year again! I’m guessing I’m not the only one that has an annual closet purge, and honestly, I usually bask in it. There’s something that feels so good to me about decluttering and starting fresh, but this year was different.
After 3 months and 6 countries (putting my total at 16 countries visited now), I’ve returned home to Canada! It feels like I blinked and the time was up, but I guess its true that time flies when you’re having fun.
I’m an introvert. I would shout that out to the world if that was something that introverts did. I’m not afraid to admit (although this took some time) that I like being alone… a lot. Even some of my BEST friends I only see every couple of weeks, and weirdly, I’m totally okay with that. With this being said, I wouldn’t trade my wolf pack of friends for the world.
Lyon is large and vibrant but much more low-key than Paris, is considered the gastronomical capital of France (this alone had me saying yes), and it is surrounded by amazing side trips that are super convenient to get to. For these reasons, Lyon became our home base for a week.
can you have a perfect (or near perfect) traveling experience while traveling with people whose traveling styles don’t fit with yours? After being on several trips where the group just did NOT mesh for one reason or another, my initial answer would be no. Different personalities and traveling styles can cause friction that can dampen what is supposed to be a killer experience. This experience factor matters SO much that entities like Destination Canada have made handy quizzes that will tell you exactly what kind of traveler you are (I got the authentic traveler, try it out yourself!). This is supposed to be useful in planning future trips (and also is crazy good consumer data if you work in tourism marketing). Almost three weeks into my Europe trip with my dear boyfriend by my side, I’m disputing my initial answer of “no” to that question.