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Paris, je t’aime!

10 May

Parisian streets

Bonjour amis! I’m in Paris now and the weather is much better. Rainy, but warmer so I can’t complain too much. Despite what I’ve heard, Paris is beautiful. Sure you smell  pee at times, but it’s no smellier than Toronto. My first sight of Paris was the Indian quarter and my first meal was Middle Eastern… I knew this would be a great city!

Anyways.

I’ve never climb so many stairs in my life! This morning I woke up at 7:00am to beat the line at the Louvre and let me tell you – arriving one hour before it opens still means you have to line up around the glass pyramid. As I was waiting in line, the camera died. Oh great! The day I’m cramming in the most sightseeing, the camera dies! Just then, Stefanie notices Gerry – a friend from high school who is traveling Europe at the same time as us. Strange, but awesome. So he joined us and we traveled the city with him and he took all of the photos! It was perfect timing. Continue reading

No more procrastinating!

2 May

Gah! I need to pack. Seriously.

There is still so much to do before I leave for Europe and I’m running out of time. Even though my flight leaves Wednesday night, I’m going up to my aunt’s near Maple, Ontario the night before so I can do my laundry and organize my backpack. Equal weight distribution is key!

This means I only have two nights with my beloved pooch and Kyle. It feels strange. I just want to cuddle them both all day and night! I know it will be really hard on the heart, but this is only 6 weeks! Can you imagine how it will be when I’m gone for 3 months? Yikes! Still, it’s better to spend 3 months missing the people (&dog!) you love than regretting you never went to begin with. This is my mantra and I will stick by it no matter how difficult it is.

I am lucky to have been given this opportunity. There are so many factors that had to fall into place. Money, a companion(s), safety, health, time, attitude, etc. I just hope it all goes somewhat smoothly!

Couchsurfing 101

11 Apr

I thought this would be a good time to write about a little thing called couchsurfing. After talking with so many people about this big eurotrip, I’ve realized that most people don’t understand it, think it’s crazy or both! Rather than having more people freak out when I tell them that three girls are going to be sleeping in a stranger’s home, I thought I would just write a blog about it and let them figure it out.

To make our eurotrip more budget-friendly and exciting, we decided to spend most nights couchsurfing. The website sums it up nicely: “CouchSurfing is an international non-profit network that connects travelers with locals in over 230 countries and territories around the world.” Basically, we log onto this community website and search for people to stay with in various cities across the world. Each traveler and host must create a profile with information about their interests, occupation, age, location, bio, ‘couch’ information, photos, etc. There is a reference and verification system, ensuring that people are who they say  and that you have the best CS experience possible. Continue reading

The joys (and horrors) of booking

1 Feb

The power of the Internet has failed me (stupid unreliable servers, stupid credit card!). However, after a day of calling 1-800 numbers, I finally booked my flight to Europe.

YYZ to FRA from May 5th to June 15th.

For those of you unfamiliar with airport codes, that means Toronto to Frankfurt (yes, Germany). Now, I wasn’t planning on going to Germany – it’s just too big and I don’t have much time, but I found a great deal! Round trip with taxes for $625 CAD. Pretty awesome, no? The Air Transat reservation person seemed to think so… Continue reading

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