Call Verizon to add international package. Check.
Call the bank to authorize shopping charges. Check.
Check with airline for flight changes. Check.
Confirm hotel reservation. Check.
Holy cow. I’m actually going to do this. The day after tomorrow I’m getting on a plane to Paris. Without my husband and kids.
Please, God, don’t let this be a dream.
I have never done anything this self-indulgent before. I rarely do anything self-indulgent. My idea of a big treat is lunch with a friend squeezed between errands and carpool. So when this email came back in May, I didn’t even know how to respond.“If I bought a ticket would you be interested in going to France for a week in mid-October? A translator would be nice.”
“What a lovely idea…” was my immediate thought. But I decided not to say ‘no’ right away. To live the fantasy in my head for a day or two before I squashed it.
I pictured myself sitting in a café with a cup of coffee glass of wine and my camera. I practiced a few lines of my long-forgotten French to see if I could even pull off ordering a glass of wine. I mean, it’s been over 30 years since my summer in Quebec, so offering my services as a translator would really be a joke. But it was a lovely thought.
I hung on to it for a few days. And then, in a moment of uncertainty, I mentioned it to my family at the dinner table. It took my husband a moment to speak. He said, “Have you said ‘Yes’ yet?” And without overthinking it, I said, “No, but I think I will.”
And the planning began.
A few months passed, and (even though my plane ticket was proudly displayed on the refrigerator) I refused to allow myself to get excited about it. There are so many wildcards in my life right now, and I feared something would crash down and force me to cancel if I blabbed all over the internet months in advance. So I waited cautiously. Realistically. Hopefully.
And the Universe cooperated, as if to tell me that I was worth all of this. And now, here I am, ready to take off to Paris with my cousin on a Bucket List sort of adventure. To drink in (pun intended) all that Paris has to offer. Art, history, architecture, food, wine, music… all by myself. (Well, by myself meaning without my husband and kids.)
About a month ago I started talking about it. Making it feel real. Shopping for something chic to wear.
For the last week I’ve been mumbling to myself en francais, picking up travel bottles for shampoo, and sporting a grin that just won’t go away.
Today I’m making a list for Mr. Wonderful of carpool schedules and cross-country meets and sending emails to make sure every detail is taken care of.
Tomorrow I’ll pack the suitcase.
And the next day, I’ll get on a plane and fly across an ocean and arrive in a place I’ve been waiting my whole life to be.
And I’ll take pictures and drink wine and visit cathedrals. And I’ll thank my cousin a bazillion times for asking that question back in April.
And I’ll come home a better person for having said ‘yes’ to myself.