What travel means to me in one word

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ESCAPE

During my trip in Paris, I had an unhealthy obsession with escape signs. I didn’t really know why I felt compelled to take photos of every exit sign I see and to seek escape signs where I can’t see them.

In the description of a Facebook photo album titled Escape in France (related photos here), I wrote:

I discovered that I’m actually very fascinated with escape signs. In a novel, this would have deep meaning but in real life, it means I’m weird.

These few weeks I had been feverish with the wish to travel. Then one day, I realized recently at work (my mind wanders) that for me, travelling means to escape, to be free. 

But to escape from what? 

Is it to be away from the usual scenery and to be in an unfamiliar place? Is it to be away from the local food and to taste something different? Is it to smell a different air?

That, I’m to afraid to answer.

This post is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project. Day 29: ONE WORD

What does travel mean to you in one word?  

The rest of my posts for the project can be found here.

Lavender-colored dream

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(Image grabbed from Wikipedia)

Where do I want to be now? In a field of waist high (not possible) lavendar. I don’t care in which part of the world it is, I want to be there.

I want to be among the buzzing bees and intoxicating scent of lavender. I want to pluck bunches of the flower and dunk them in olive oil to make scented oil.

As you can see, I have a fetish for lavender.

I don’t know how that happened but I have the urge to buy every lavender scented product I see. Fortunately, my budget does not allow me to purchase much of the real or artificial lavender products out there.

When BootsnAll posted Day 27’s prompt: WanderlustShare a photo or video that just makes you want to GO. RIGHT. NOW“, I thought hard. I couldn’t think of a location or a monument I want to see now.

Then I remembered where I want my dream home to be: next to a field of lavender. So here it is.

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The rest of my posts for the project can be found here.

City of Lights, Day 15 of 30 Days of Indie Travel Project

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Parisian cliché

Saying your favorite city is Paris has become a cliché, especially for jaded young Singaporeans who already have traipsed across Europe right after their university graduation. They’ll likely tell you that while their favorite European city is Stockholm, there’s no place like home where the transport system and the government works.

(On another note, Tokyo is slowly becoming another cliché but the people here still do not think of it yet because they like sushi and J-pop so much.)

Despite what they say, my favorite city is still Paris.

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Gift of Fear, travel edition

Blog title taken from the title of a book that everyone should read: The Gift of Fear.

Travelling as a single woman takes guts.

Despite putting on a brave front telling people about my solo travels, I have to admit here that I feel panicky before every single trip.

“What if something bad happens??!” Worst case scenarios run through my head: my body floating in the Seine, found dead in my hostel room, etc–all sorts of scenarios from bad detective novels.

Despite all my paranoia, nothing really bad happened to me on my trips. *touch wood*

That said, there was a scary incident in Paris. It is scary on hindsight but (fortunately) I wasn’t that afraid then–more annoyed than scared.

Here’s a recount of the event (with edited paragraphing) from my Paris travel blogpost (a copy and paste of my e-mail to my friend):

No need to panic but some random guy threatened to kill me.

Was walking out of train station to where I live. Heard someone calling out from behind. Ignored (bcoz you never know who it is, and quite a few mad men around). Shout got louder as I walked away. I exited, thinking I was safe. At traffic lights, a China man (only reasonable term I can use now) said something loudly to me. I turned to him. He looked red in the face and smelled a bit drunk. He rambled on loudly in his dialect. I never opened my mouth but gave him a look that said: What the f do you want?

He ended his rambling, asking: You are China person (def not “overseas Chinese” in this case), aren’t you? I shook my head and looked away to behind him, holding on to my not-give-a-shit look.

Then he said: Next time you do this, I’LL KILL YOU.

He walked off.

While i feel frightened now, I’m glad I held on to my BITCH PLZ look.

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This was where the scary thing happened, in the evening with the sky slightly gray.
Credit: Google Map 

Additional information about the incident. It was late in the evening in summer but there was still some light. The tunnels in the Metro were winding. There was a cafe opposite the exit–but no one sitting outside to witness the incident.

As I said I was not afraid when it happened. It was in my instinct that the guy did not have a gun or a knife with him. It was also instinct that told me: Put up a brave front.

Moral of the story: Trust your instinct but bring pepper spray, just in case.

How would you have handled such a scenario?

This post is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel Project: Day 6: Fear.

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The rest of my posts for the project can be found here.

Accidental, musical Nantes

Before my trip to Paris, I was looking on the Web to see if Mozart l’Opera Rock was on while I was there. Unfortunately, the Paris shows were far from the dates I would visit the City of Lights.

A bit of background about the musical: I accidentally discovered the musical while on Youtube. The music video for L’Assasymphonie had all the mysteries of the sexy French. “Why does the bearded man look so tortured?!” I became obsessed about finding out more about the play.

Turns out, it’s a about Mozart’s life. I watched all the videos I could online and tried to memorize the lyrics.

Imagine my disappointment when I found out that the show would not be in Paris!

I looked through the list again and found that the nearest location that the show would play was in Nantes.

Before that, I never heard of the town. I googled and found out that it was about 2 hours on TGV from the capital. After thinking about it for somedays, I decided to spend two days of my already short week in France in Nantes, just for the musical.

I did not regret it.

 

The break away from the capital allowed me to see more of beautiful France, not just piss-scented Paris. On the TGV, I sped past field with rolls of hay and grazing fluffy sheeps. It made my heart swell with happiness.

The musical itself was lovely. My very first musical. (I’ve always wanted to see a musical live, a especially after I found out about Le Roi Soleil.)

 

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Unlike Paris, Nantes was laid back. I was quite surprised to see people not dressing very fashionable (ie T-shirt and shorts) to a musical. (I thought everyone wore mink to such a show).

In Nantes, I also visited the beautiful Castle of the Dukes of Brittany, previous home to Anne de Bretagne.

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During my last few hours, I even illegally rode on the tramway as no one seemed to be checking tickets. ;)

This post is part of bootsnall.com’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project. Day 3: Music

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The rest of my posts for the project can be found here.