C’est Paris!

Day 1:

We arrive in Paris with so much luggage. Two massive backpacks, one massive suitcase, three carry on bags, my purse and a car seat. Let’s back up… We exit the airplane and it’s HOT. Like I’ve never felt. We’re tired. We’ve just been on an airplane that left at midnight New York time and arrived at 1pm Paris time. Are you confused? So was I. All I knew was that I slept about 2 hours on and off in a sitting position.

We get through the customs line, out to the suitcase area. Voila! There is all our luggage. Phewf. We move into the next area and there’s wifi. Yahoo! Ooops! Guess what? We forgot the car seat again. So Luc takes off back into the area that says “Do not pass. You will be arrested.” or something like that.

He comes back, unharmed and we summon an Uber. Into the Uber we go. It’s 40 degrees. No shit, no kidding. We have no water and the Uber driver explains that it’s so hot his AC isn’t working. Are you shitting me? All the windows open and Vivi is melting in the back seat. She’s complaining she’s thirsty and I start to worry about her when she starts to fall asleep as she slept most of the flight so she shouldn’t be tired.

So I tell Luc we need to get water. The driver says ok, and about 10 mins later he finally finds a place. Luc runs in and grabs two bottles of water. Incredibly, they don’t have cold water. I wake up Vivi to drink and she hates drinking this hot water. Me too.

We get to the apartment and haul all the luggage upstairs in the itty bitty elevator (3 trips I think). It’s small but so quaint. No AC again. I didn’t have an expectation that there was so I’m less disappointed than I was for the car ride.

We instantly shower. The shower is really UNIQUE – up some tiny stairs into a little alcove… Pretty cool. Arno shows up and tells us all about the apartment, and the area. It starts to rain. A lot. Then it stops. Starts again a lot… Stops… you get the idea.

It’s dinner time now (time goes by so quickly it’s crazy – I guess that’s what a 6 hour time change will do to you) so we go out and look to find a place to eat. We passed by this really cool area with a very fine mist coming out of the ground everywhere. It was really nice as the heat hadn’t let up.

Then we found a great place to eat right beside the road (there are so many places like this with tables and chairs beside the road to take in the ambiance). The rain started to pour again. We had an amazing dinner with steak tartar with frites, and a massive salad with bacon and goat cheese and rose wine. The best meal we had the entire trip IMHO.

The rain came down, then hail then thunder and lightning. It was pretty insane. It let up enough for us to walk home.

Day 2:

We got a very early start on the day, 7am (probably due to the heat and time difference) and the streets were empty. It was cool outside. I was really refreshed and super happy to be able to walk the beautiful streets of Paris in the peace. It was so serene.

We first took in the Pompidou Centre which is an art museum. Some people think it’s ridiculous and others think it’s a modern art miracle. I was surprised about the empty bottles that were strewn everywhere in the streets of Paris. People are allowed to drink alcohol in the streets all the time. And the consequences of that are that they leave their bottles everywhere for other people to clean up. I was a little amazed.

We walked on and got to the Hotel de Ville (Town hall). A beautiful building.

Then across the Seine River, everywhere I looked it was stunning and hardly any people.

And over to the Notre Dame. Things were starting to pick up a little by this point with people. We arrived in front of the Notre Dame and there were a few tours. We went inside just ahead of about 100 people entering. What timing. It was immense. I’ve been here before but it really takes your breath away how immense it is and how it didn’t start out like that.

Vivi wanted to light a candle to remember all the past great grandparents.

We left there and headed over to get some breakfast. Two espressos, two orange juices, one croissant and 2 pain au chocolat. Delicious!

We then walked to Luxembourg Palace and Gardens. This place is absolutely stunning. I would spend a whole day here just meandering, exploring, people watching if I could. We were trying to get to the Catacombs. After what seemed like forever (Luc: “it’s just past this… it’s just past that…”) we made it only to find the longest line I’ve seen. Luc asked how long and the guy said about 3 hours to wait to get in. Forget about it. We were disappointed because neither of us had seen it before but we weren’t willing to wait 3 hours either. Another time. Something to come back to see.

We bought some goat cheese and took the metro to the Louvre. It was hot at this point, close to noon and the people were everywhere. I was beginning to struggle. We saw the outside of the Louvre and the pyramid. I’ve seen this before and it doesn’t disappoint. Vivi really needed to use the bathroom (I can’t tell you how much looking for a toilet takes of our time.)

We weren’t far from our place so we headed home to have an afternoon shower and siesta.

I coached that night so Luc and Vivi took off.

Then we had another dinner in the street just a couple of mins away walking from our apartment. It was a big day of walking. Versailles tomorrow.

Day 3:

Versailles!

We started our day a bit late as we had a 12pm ticket time at Versailles.

There was so much security everywhere as this was the last day of the Tour de France. On the way to Versailles we stopped at La Defence. This is the big archway seen in the photos below. Pretty cool to see. It’s huge.

Then onto Versailles. After the train left us off at the station we walked about 15mins (grabbing some lunch at the market) and hit the line up. Thankfully we had a ticket so our line up was still 10mins but not the mammoth queue if you didn’t have a ticket.

Into the castle and WOW! Incroyable.

Vivi kept saying how much she wanted to have a castle like that and that if it was her, she would share with everyone. Everywhere you turned was magnificent. It’s all you can really say about this place.

We had a walking recorded tour. It was so hot (I sound like a broken record) and there were so many people. We made the rookie mistake of going on a weekend BUT it’s not open on Monday and that was our last day in Paris so we had to go on the weekend.

After the inside we moved to the outside. I can’t begin to tell you how immense the garden (if that’s what you call it) is. Massive fountains with rows and rows of hedges and sitting areas. What they did with and in these gardens is anyone’s guess. Luc guessed a lot of fornication…

I realized after the visit that I wanted to learn a lot more about Versailles so here are a few links if you’re interested in Louis the XIV’s reign and more on Versailles:

We returned home and I coached again that night. I’m loving that I can create my business to work with me while I’m travelling. This is really my dream come true.

Day 4

Last day in Paris. Today was another day of walking in the heat. But I’m not complaining.

We got to visit the Eiffel Tower and the Sacre Coeur.

We took the metro to the Eiffel Tower and Violette really wanted to walk up to the second landing so we marched up the 700 stairs to fulfill on that goal for her. Luc and I have been to the Eiffel Tower about 3 times each. It’s still breath taking when you get up there and see the views over Paris. It’s hard to believe that it was built for the 1889 World’s Fair and was only supposed to be a temporary structure. Something that’s different than before is that you need to go through a bag check and security screening both before you walk onto the grounds and again have your bag searched before going up.

After that we walked over to a beautiful view point (I still haven’t been on the grass opposite the Eiffel Tour) and took some photos.

We were late (how could that be, we’re on holidays!) to meet a friend of a friend of Luc’s, Arno at the Sacre Coeur. So, off on the metro again and over to the Sacre Coeur.

This place holds a special place in my heart: it’s where Luc proposed to me about 11 years ago. If you want to hear the funny story, reach out to me and I’ll let you know how it went down.

We met Arno who brought the most delicious picnic for us. Red wine, cheese, bread, veggies, figs and tea. Arno is moving to Salt Spring for a year and is looking for a place to live on SSI starting in September. He’s going to be working at the Wolf School over there. If you know of a place he can live over there, don’t hesitate to let me know.

After lunch, he showed us around to some of the less touristy spots that locals go and we so appreciated him telling us about all that he knew. The photo of the tall brown houses below are some of the oldest in Paris. One other thing to note: the one on the right recently had some tenants leave. This was an establishment for swinging couples. They could visit this place. He assured us he only knew this because of common knowledge (not from experience).

We were spent after a full day of walking and stairs… so we cooled down with a shower and a siesta.

Day 5

We leave Paris. Another tremendously hot day. We pack up and leave our tiny abode via Uber to the train station. I’m feeling a bit sick (totally thought a cold was coming on) so I’m happy to just rest and get to Switzerland.

Things to note:

  • I’m feel like I’m understanding French better than I expected.
  • I’m feeling familiar now with France and Paris (not like it’s a completely different world). This is interesting because I’ve been here a few times now. Luc and I agree that it will be a while before we go back.
  • We’ve had more good experiences than bad with Uber. We will choose this again.
  • The heat is really getting to me. Unless I’m having a cold shower, there isn’t any relief. Not even at night. I yearn to feel cold.
  • Luc and I are fighting and disagreeing about stupid shit. More than usual.
  • I want to slow down. Like pronto. This pace of travel is way too fast for me, my body and my being. It’s nice to see so much but I’d like to just “BE” in a place to be a part of it.
  • Paris is so incredibly beautiful. You have to come here to see it’s beauty. Looking at in on TV just doesn’t do it justice.
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Less than 3 months…

to do list

Wow, it’s sinking in more and more… I’m going to be leaving. Sometimes it hits me in waves, other times like a truck. For soooo long it’s been just a project to get to July 19th. So much stuff to do. Like stuff you never thought of that you had to do, we’ve done it. It’s also totally possible that we’ve done way more than we “had” to.

Not long ago, we really started getting asked more and more “Are you excited? You must be so excited.” To be honest the first thought that would come to my mind was “there’s so much to do”. Which then had me feeling guilty for not being excited, for not being grateful for this amazing opportunity, for actually considering the stuff to do, was a burden.

Wow, that’s when I knew I really wanted to shift how I was relating to the to-do list. If you remember, I got a tattoo of the word “journey” on my arm. Yeah pretty hard to forget that this is all my journey through life, even the daily grind.

When I forgot Violette’s birth certificate and didn’t notice until I had stood in line for 15 mins at the passport office on my flex day only to realize that I’d have to come back again two weeks later with the passport. As annoying as that is, it’s also part of the journey. And when I returned 2 weeks later and the woman at the passport office quite clearly was missing some happiness in her life, I could have easily looked at this as how much I really didn’t want to be there anymore than she did, but instead I zoomed a little extra love her way.

This journey has already started.

More recently, I’ve been looking at how Luc and I communicate with each other. We’ve did a very little bit of relationship coaching with Ruth Sowter from Intimacy for Intrepid Souls the other night. First of all, she’s amazing and offers 1 hour free sample coaching sessions for couples. Secondly, she helped us to distinguish a new practice for how we will operate when it comes to determining how we’re going to make a decision.

It’s so interesting, you would think after 14 years together, we’d be on some sort of common understanding. Oh god no. And it’s things like planning a trip around the world that really tests that. Luc loves to do a ton or research and come up with the best logical plan. Thank god for him because research is not my forte. I more like to move with how I feel in the moment and that doesn’t always jive with logic and research.

For example:

  • After we are finished in the South of France I could have come back to Switzerland for 2 days before going to Spain to walk the Camino. It would have cost the exact same amount. Logically, why wouldn’t I? I could drive for an hour back to his parents, see Violette’s first day of school, drop off some stuff, drive back another hour to the airport and then start my walk. Same price. But instead, I chose to just go straight to the Camino. Mostly because I didn’t want to fly back and forth, and I just wanted to get walking. Neither way is right or wrong. And notice if you sided one way or the other. 🙂

So we determined through the coaching, that we would state our feelings and research and what we each wanted to do. Then we would really check-in: is this something that I need to have go my way today? Am I tired and just want to lounge on the beach? Could I do my own thing? Or could I choose powerfully to do what he’s suggesting because it really doesn’t matter to me. On a scale of 1-10, aligning with our intentions for our trip, where do we see this falling? Worst case, if we both dig our heels in, a coin toss (or Violette) makes the choice.

It might seem so small. But these conversations are important to sort out before you get into these scenarios or trust, love, connection and communication are thrown into the mix (the above example we hadn’t had coaching at that point so Luc couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to do his logical suggestion). And by no means are we going to master this… but we’re practicing and hopefully together we’ll find more communication,  support and ease along the journey.

And there you go… be ready to read about what we’re up to – but with a twist. You’ll get a bit deeper into our lives, how I’m growing, being outside my comfort zone and how that feels; essentially more authenticity and vulnerability than a regular travel blog. I want to share not just the nice stuff but the humanity I face, being ok with failing at things, and that the journey is not always a straight line. After all, I’m a life coach that is travelling… this whole experience is one big growth, love, connection and joy project.

Get ready 🙂

to do list

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Accomplishment Coaching

Journey

You might wonder what I’ve been doing to move through the self development that I’ve been posting about. Tonight I want to share the amazing 12 month course that I am in and have been in since March of this year.

Accomplishment Coaching is a coaching and leadership course that has changed my life. There are 21 other people that have joined me on this journey as well as the amazing team of mentor coaches. The course creates strong leaders and ontological coaches. If you’ve ever wanted to create your own coaching business, this course doesn’t just teach you how to be a coach, it teaches you how to create your business as well. I started my coach business and have found my passion.

On top of that, if you’re looking for self development and leadership skills, you want to check it out. It creates breakthroughs in your life that are unparalleled.

Some breakthroughs/shifts I’ve had:

  • breaking up my judgement filter from others
  • getting that I’m good enough and I matter
  • busting up my contexts around right/wrong, black/white, all or nothing
  • releasing control
  • seeing how responsibility and integrity has been a prison for me
  • not enough time/too busy is a facade
  • money is just a story we made up
  • finding my voice
  • self love
  • my relationship with my family
  • needing to get things done right away!
  • expectations of others
  • external validation/love
  • playing the middle person in all situations
  • leader
  • fun/play/joy!
  • loving the voice in my head
  • courage/confidence
  • living outside my comfort zone
  • getting supported and being support for others
  • being of service to people and the joy that that brings

What I get from all these breakthroughs:

  • love, PEACE, strength, FREEDOM, passion, compassion, courage, grace, BEING, humanity, being me, authenticity, vulnerability.

This has been the most incredible 8 months of my life. I have an wonderful team of humans and coaches to draw upon to support me in my journey. When I get scared or angry, they are there to ‘get me’ and support me through it in whatever way I need.

If after all that you’re keen to know more, I would suggest to reach out to me and/or get yourself registered in an observation session coming up on November 4, 10-12:30. It’s free and you can watch us go through some of the motions during our monthly weekend. It’s powerful and beautiful to be apart of it. There is also a 4 hour workshop in the afternoon that is called “Power Tools for Living” that costs $135 and is worth it’s weight in gold. Luc and I did it together and it was profound.

Let me know if you’re coming. I hope to see you there.

Journey

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Getting to no… is not so bad

A gift

I’ve been working on my coaching business like cray cray these days. What does that mean exactly? Talking with amazing humans. Conversating about their lives. Listening to what their goals and dreams are that they want to make come true. This job might be the best job on the face of this planet. Well it’s definitely the right “job” (if you can even call it that) for me.

Side note: there are a ton of amazing humans out there wanting to make a real difference in their lives, their community and the world.  

Eventually, the conversation turns to me asking them if they want to hire me. For any of you that I’ve talked to of late, this is not about you, this is all about me.

What’s so: in the last three days I’ve had 5 “no, not right now” conversations for coaching.

What I’m realizing is that the “no, not right now” is a gift.

Don’t get me wrong: YES is an even better gift but I am seeing the “no, not right now’s” as a gift in my commitment and passion for what I’m building.

If everything came easy and everyone agreed to commit to coaching, then I wouldn’t get to grow in what the “no, not right now” means.

Tricked you: “no, not right now” means absolutely nothing. It just means “no, not right now”. That’s it. It doesn’t mean I’m not good enough, it doesn’t mean they don’t like me, it doesn’t mean that people don’t know what they are missing – it just means “no, not right now”.

We, humans are meaning-making-machines. We make meaning out of everything even when there isn’t anything to mean in a lot of cases. This is a life long practice for me to cut the BS and just listen for what is actually being said in every circumstance. Not what the hidden meaning could be.

So I see that when the universe is giving me “no, not right now”, I’m learning a whole bunch of stuff. I’m learning, that it’s not about me. I’m learning that people have their own stuff going on. I’m learning that I have to hear “no, not right now” a few times before I get a YES. I’m learning that the “no, not right now” makes me stronger and I grow. AND I’m getting out there, letting the universe know what I’m up to and what I want to create. I’m in action creating my business – which makes me proud.

And when I hear a “HELL YES!” it makes the journey to loving my coaching business all the more rewarding.

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