I had been planning this summer for a year now, planning to be in Europe for ten weeks and to be a minimum of 10 degrees cooler than the coldest summer day in Houston. I bought one round trip ticket six weeks before I left and figured the rest of the details as I encountered them. My intention was to stage at Mirabelle (Copenhagen, Denmark) and De Superette (Gent, Belgium). In the end, I breathed the air of six different countries and eleven villages/cities and laughed a hell of a lot.
In preparation for this trip, I had been trying to undo some of the things I have been far too comfortable with, things that could lead to unpliability: being OCD about frivolous things, being too type A, showering daily, exercising like I was still an athlete, using exhaustion as a measure of success, having an opinion about things I know far too little about, traveling only to cross things off a list. I began to question why I did things, if my habits were good for me, why some things were necessary habits–basically everything. I tried to break any cycle I could visibly discover so that I could free myself to be perfectly irregular.
I still brush my teeth, wash my face, and drink out of my water bottle daily. In the quest of finding who I am and who I want to be, I could only hold onto these three habits.
My decisions in travel were based more on making memories and less about bragging about where I ate or saw. I slowed down a lot, sat in parks, took naps, and ate falafel or pizza multiple meals in a row. I read many books, went to the same places to get coffee or wine, became a regular, and tried to live like everywhere was my second home. This summer was strictly for me and no one else. It was a journey in finding me.
When you leave life up to possibilities, sometimes you end up in Paris, in Rihanna’s Golden Circle.