If you've got something you want to go for, trust yourself and do it, and don't listen to those who say it's not possible. It's probably possible, and if it's not, you'll find out for yourself and most certainly learn some interesting things along the way, which means it's a win win situation. So either way, go ahead and do it.
It's lashing. My vision of France had not included a single drop of rain, and so accordingly, I left my rain jacket behind in Dublin. Rookie mistake. Honestly I don't think I left it at home on purpose, but it was possibly some subconscious wishful thinking. Anyway, turns out it would have been pretty useful. This is day 3 of solid rain, and there's more due tomorrow.
Were we mad to turn down a job in St. Tropez?
After much deliberation and a u-turn at the last minute, we headed west to the Atlantic. Despite the rain, I know we made the right decision, because it's where we really wanted to go, and we knew that it had an element of the unknown, that's what makes it an adventure!
Seek and you shall find. People are so helpful once you get chatting. The man who sold us our phone gave me all sorts of tips for getting a yoga class started over here, and the irish guys we met who are working in a bar in Hossegor offered us contacts for winter season work. We've kept the ball rolling writing CVs in our very best french, and getting set up with a french mobile phone, and a few work leads here and there. However, while it's still raining we'll hold off on intensive job searching, it's not enough to be in the right place, you need to be there at the right time. Also drowned rats don't look very presentable.
In the meantime we've also explored a bit, Bordeaux was really cool and the amazing water feature at Place de la Bourse made for some interesting yoga. On the foodie side of things, apparently people here are really into japanese cuisine, there are sushi bars all over the place and they even deliver. We tried an authentic noodle bar, Fufu, which was yum. So authentic it even had a toilet imported from Japan! I'm writing this post from a place called Cafe Ono, which sounds and looks japanese, beautiful wooden tables and stools everywhere, turns out to our disappointment though no noodles. Still it's a cool aesthetic, nice place to have a coffee or pomegranate green tea, (are we in the States or France??)
We visited the Museum of Decorative Arts (once an art history student, always an art history student....) where they had a cool exhibition that paired new design objects with much older pieces, nice idea for an exhibition. We've been swimming in the Ocean and getting our frisbee skills up, and plan to get some surfing in tomorrow. I've got some serious van envy, there are a lot of people here with nice set ups, it's all inspiration!
I'll keep you posted on how our first surf session goes and if we've got anything closer to some work.......
What is it about standing on your hands that's so fun? (Hmm, you're skeptical about the fun part? It comes once you get over the fear part, which happens through falling, and figuring out that it's not so bad after all. Sounds like climbing.) At a recent workshop with Tiffany Cruikshank she talked about her love of handstands and inversions due to their ability to snap you into focus on the present moment. There's no way your mind is going to be wandering to that to-do list, or that worry, or that email you need to send, right in that moment where you're trying to reach that delicate balancing point upside down. All of our sensations seem to bemagnified. I love the automatic twitching calibration that happens through your hands as your body unconsciously does it's utmost to stay upright. It's the same feeling through your foot in ardha chandrasana (half moon pose) or virabhadrasana III (warrior 3).
Personally I've always had this desire to be able to go upside down, it's what I love so much about acroyoga, and I was reminded recently that as a kid in swimming pools all I ever did was somersaults and handstands, no front crawl for me. For some reason though, I never persevered enough to be able to actually hold that balance point on stable ground.
The journey has begun. We departed Ireland on Tuesday evening after a long day's packing up the car (ehm sorry John).
If you know me, you'll know I'm a bit of an organisational nerd. If you've lived out a car (especially a toyota yaris) for any period of time you'll know how tight things can get. I'm pretty chuffed with the system we've got going in the car, we found these duffel bags in Ikea for €2, which were exactly what we needed to keep all the clothes seperate and contained, and we've set up the boot so that all of our cooking & food supplies are easy to access. We're using plastic storage boxes, which means we can't fit as much in, but the stuff is easier to navigate. With only two of us in the car it's definitely a good trade-off, there's nothing worse than having to search through the entire car for that one fork/jumper/needle in a haystack. Also the boxes work as seats and tables. Multifunctional. Before we left I got really inspired watching George Clarke's Amazing Spaces for ideas on multifunctional design and compact living. Even more food for thought was the Tiny House Movement and related documentaries. In a dream world I'm a really sleek minimalist designer, but in reality I have too much of a love for interesting objects. Perhaps I'm bound to an eternal conflict between the two, or maybe I'll find a happy medium one day.
We had a good night's sleep on the floor of the ferry but arrived pretty hungry at 16.30 (an hour late) in France. We wanted to get on the road asap (cue mantra: drive on the right, drive on the right, drive on the right) but eventually achy bodies needed a stretch, so we visited Bayeux, and then decided to take a little deviation to the town of Honfleur, where we had our first meal of the trip (moules et frites) right where you can see in the photo above. Feeling buzzed up from some food we decided to drive through the night to Fontainebleau. Good listening material from This American Life and BBC4's History of the World in 100 objects kept us awake. A shower at a pit stop refreshed us halfway and finally at 4 am we pitched a tent in the forest. Psyched to climb the next day. And then it rained. Hence this blog post!
Okay, I'm [almost] ready to go to France. What was a fairly spontaneous decision just over a month ago is now becoming reality. I'm tying up loose ends, finishing work, and getting packed up. The hope is to get some better weather, get outdoors more often, and get climbing. Just waiting on my passport now.
I think it's typical of life, but right as we make a move to get going, there's lot's of temptation to stay. We've been having unbelievable weather this week, and over the past month I've met some great new people, in climbing, in classes, and through acroyoga. We've been stand-up paddle boarding, slacklining, and doing more yoga than ever before. I've absolutely loved getting a chance to do kids yoga classes, All in all, things are very good here. Which makes it an interesting time to leave and have a new adventure. I'll be using this website as a way to keep in touch and keep track of our journey, so stay tuned if you'd like to see what we're up to.
I'll miss you all much more than you can know, but anyone thinking of heading to France or that general direction give us a shout