Not all those who Wander...

Monday, October 20, 2014

It's a tired phrase, and one that is used by everyone who wants to travel, or who finds inspiration on pinterest to want to see the world, or who has no idea what they want to do next in life, etc.

But it's the perfect way to describe how this weekend was. 

I'm the kind of person who plans out every single minute of every single day. My agenda is chock full of lists, appointments, meetings, classes, assignments. I have a Moleskine bursting with lists of things I want to do, things I have to do, and places I want to see.

I have a detailed plan of every museum I want to see in London, including every exhibit, highlight, and painting broken down by day, and then further by morning, afternoon, and evening. 

So imagine this person, this overplanned, somewhat burned out, 20-something college student, getting on a train to go to a city she knows barely anything about, without a plan for how to spend the two days she will find herself there. 

That's what I did this weekend. 

While part of me cringes to think that I had zero plan for what I wanted to do in Rouen, it far surpassed any expectations I could have possibly had. 

I finally took my own advice and let my expectations be cast aside, and fully enjoyed every moment I spent in this beautiful city. 

If I had to summarize what we did this weekend, I would say we wandered. I wandered. I explored. I let myself be transported back in time to a middle age town, just screaming with importance and cultural excitement. 

I geeked out hardcore over architecture, and took pictures of basically every building we saw.

I stumbled into courtyards built to commemorate death, but full of light. 

I found inspiration in a square where a now-saint, Joan of Arc, was burned alive.

We climbed hundreds of many stairs up the Tower of Joan of Arc, where she was held and tortured (so I got my museum fix).

I ate a really, really good, dare I say American-style, hamburger before going to the cinema to watch a movie in English, which was amazing (Gone Girl.... crazygirlsaywhaaaaaa?).

We had a mini-photoshoot in a courtyard by a giant, beautiful cathedral.

I bought a hat.

We sat in a park and watched swans elegantly float on their mini-lake.

We ate. We shopped. We sat in cafés drinking café au lait and eating pain au chocolate  We comforted each other as we shared our feelings of the mid-study abroad blues, how much we miss our homes, our friends, our families, and our classes (I'm taking Gender in a New Era of Empire next quarter... which I'm anxiously looking forward to as the Saga of the French "E" continues).

But most of all, we wandered. 

We had a map, but we didn't use it. We had our phones, but we didn't use those either.

We wandered, but we were never lost. 

Thank you, Rouen, for being beautiful.

Thank you, friends, for wandering with me. 

Thank you, Universe, for helping me realize the beauty in the unknown.

Have you ever just wandered? Also, what do you think of my hat? :) 

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