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Time to Do the Things We Want

When budget and attention span limit our choices (Candace)

We just arrived in Normandy today, after visiting L’Hermione, a tallship in Brest, spending a night in Pointe du Raz and swimming/hiking at its beach, sailing in Concarneau yesterday and then visiting the monastery at St. Michelle this morning. It’s been an action-packed few days as we begin wrapping up our France visit and look to our Asian chapter, which begins on Sunday.

We’ve transitioned from our time on the farm and relaxed a bit, and have toured some beautiful spots in Brittany. We’ve stayed at one of the best B&Bs of our trip this week and then were eaten alive by mosquitos while sleeping on a sailboat last night. And we have just five days left.

I have to admit that I'm ready for a change of scenery. Europe has been absolutely beautiful, and it has been a gift to have been able to stay here for the past three months. But I'm thirsty for adventure, and am longing for some stark contrast in cuisine, lifestyle and surroundings.

And I'm hungry to get a bit weird. I would love to spend the remainder of our France stay at the champagne vineyards and dancing the night away in Paris. So far on this trip, we've done a lot of outdoor activities, and seen and experienced some amazing things, but I've had very little in the form of creature comforts. I haven't been shopping for more than ten minutes, I have only had one "night out" at the music festival, and I've only been dancing once. I long for a crazy week, and know that Paris is able to offer that.

However, Andrew is a true history buff and really wants to see the D-Day tour on the Normandy beaches. He is longing for his buddies this week, the guys who would love to spend days touring this spot. And I'm just not them. I can handle an hour or two, but more seems painful to me. So we are finding ourselves in constant negotiations over what to do, for how long, and how much to spend.

We’ve now been traveling for 75 days together, and need our alone time.  We originally planned to spend these few days apart, as our “missing each other time,” which would allow us to do the things we both want to do.  But even if we wanted to, our rental car is a manual (which I can’t drive), so we are inextricably stuck at each other’s hip.  And so the time and money tug-of-war continues.

Lessons learned on the France leg of the tour:

-always rent an automatic transmission (or learn how to drive standard);

-stick to our daily budget allowance;

-discuss our hopes and goals for each leg of the trip in advance, and determine which should be independent adventures and which should be explored together.

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