Only 23 days until Europe.
Last time I had a countdown-to-Europe, it was on Beth Mitchell's whiteboard and I was going with a group of some of my favorite people in the world, people who I loved and respected. This time, I'm going it alone...and I couldn't be more excited or scared. A little fear is good though, right?
I am about to realize the dreams that I've cultivated for the majority of my life. Europe has been on my radar ever since I was old enough to comprehend such things, and certainly piqued my interest once I learned to read. As a pre-teen, that wonder and fascination settled exclusively upon England (for I refused to call it the UK). As a teenager, my heart was stolen by the wild beauty and magic of Scotland thanks to the likes of Robert Burns and some beautiful, bodice-ripping Highlander romances. When I reached my twenties, France gently tapped on the door with a swagger and smolder that nearly knocked me off my feet. And now I get to visit all three.
Not only visit. I get to live those dreams. My eyes keep prickling with heat every time I truly let myself dwell on the fact that years of fantasies are about to be a reality. Could anyone else in the world possibly be happier than I am right at this very moment?
My only fear going over is that I won't get to see enough, that I cannot be content because I constantly long for more and more. I'm afraid that it won't love me back—that these adventures will be yet another exercise in unrequited love and I'll be crushed to a point beyond repair.
Dramatic, right? I guess I haven't lost all my hopeless romantic spirit after all in these last few years of trials by fire and earned cynicism.
The only question now is where to begin my grand adventures. I fly into Paris—what comes next? God, even just writing that sentence out, flying into Paris, is nearly beyond belief. As I walk the city streets, I'll think of Les Miserables and before that, the French Revolution. I'll picture Three Musketeers and Charles Darnay or Sydney Carton, Marie Antoinette, the Paris of Anastasia or the Two Windmills cafe. My mind will jump to a million places because I have lived a million lives through pages and screens and words.
I love to read. I love to write. I'm ready to live these books, live these words, and come out a new and better person for it.
Quelle vie folle.