Sep 26, 2015 | Bordeaux, France
I guess those crazy frenchies weren’t so crazy after all. Although I didn’t know it at the time, they had planted an insatiable seed inside my heart.
I returned from that trip to SE Asia determined to get my life together in the way it seemed I ought to. That looked something like: find someone to marry, marry said person, get the dog, the house, the stable career, etc. etc. I’d hold off on travelling until it fit conveniently into my well-established life. I had been making progress on that plan when it became painfully clear to me that something wasn’t right. Despite my efforts to carry on down the well advised path, my heart held firmly to a different agenda. The push and pull of two equal and opposite forces left me stuck somewhere in the middle, lost and confused. Like any good planner, I started making lists, determined to discover a plan that would satisfy both my head and my heart. I tolerated the strange appearance of “France” on almost every single list, without giving it any serious consideration.
After several months of intense struggle, I quit what was supposed to have been my dream job without any kind of a backup plan. I found work at a startup company in a role that felt good to me, even though a more prestigious one was up for grabs. I began working with an incredible manager who, when I proposed that I might someday consider working remotely from France, was quick to announce this to the entire team as an undeniable fact. Today, just four months later, I'm here with one of my best friends to kick off six weeks of living in and working remotely from various undetermined locations throughout the country.
Amber and I made our way to Bordeaux as soon as we landed in Paris. We couldn’t have picked a better place to experience our first taste of Europe. The city shines elegance and good taste and we were both infatuated from the moment we stepped onto its streets. We wandered around for hours, gawking widely and smiling excessively. Beyond being named as one of the world’s most beautiful places, the region also houses one of the most esteemed wine regions in the country. I arranged a wine tour on our first day that took us to the nearby medieval village of Saint Emilion. Our guide Sophie was fantastic and the group was quite small, which made for the perfect day of gallivanting along winding roads and ancient city streets. We stopped at three chateaus and the owner of one of the vineyards was kind enough to give us a tour himself. He explained with incredible detail and passion the history of this place that had been in his family for countless generations. As we wandered through the vineyard, someone inquired about the roses at the end of each row and he explained that they were traditionally used to indicate the health of the vines. He went on to add that although there are now more economical and efficient methods, in France they often continue with the roses simply because they are beautiful. My heart nodded in agreement.
That night we dined at Le Bouchon Bordelais, a restaurant tucked neatly on a quiet side street so that only those who knew it was there would be able to find it. As we indulged in fine wine and several courses of exquisite French cuisine, I sat back to take it all in. The restaurant teemed with le joie de vivre, so much so that my eyes brimmed with tears. I felt as though I was exactly where I ought to be, despite the odds. I took a sip of wine and held it there, as I suspect I'll hold that moment for years to come.