The last week of three amazing months snuck up on me very quickly. I found myself back in Vendée with my friend Damien, doing lots of driving and exploring. Besides ‘Puy de Fou’ (see earlier post), we re-visited some friends, familiar places like Sables D’Olonnes, and drove to L’ile de Noirmoutier. This island is gorgeous (no surprise there I guess) but also has a unique characteristic; “Passage du Gois”, that disappears in the day time due to high tides. Many people fish for oysters and mussels, as we have seen during our visit, but must time their visit carefully as to not get caught in the rising tide.
The last three days disappeared just as fast while getting lost in Paris, through the streets and the metro alike. It’s the first time I have been in Paris during the spring time and it is like a whole new city. Although winter in Paris is gorgeous, there is people, sunshine and full-blossomed trees filling the streets, along with music from random artists playing the flute, guitar and sax.
Goodbyes have always been rather bittersweet for me. I get easily attached to new places and friends, yet I love my home and family more than anything. My friends easily become part of my larger family, which complicates it even further. Hence the love and need to travel. Out of all the countries I have been to, France is one I know I will call home. The people, architecture, history and lifestyle is perfect. Time usually goes by very fast, but these last three months were literally a blink. I not only learned so much about a new culture and way of life, but I learned a lot about myself too! Passing four hours in an art museum would not be a usual Samara-activity, but I have done it twice, in Le Louvre, one of my favourite places in Paris.
Couchsurfing definitely gave me some pretty special opportunities. I got to see the lifestyle of a family with four beautiful children in the country, a retired couple, university students, and a full family in the suburbs. I’m so lucky to have met such amazing people who shared their life with me. Since I know I’ll be back it’s not goodbye, it’s see you soon. And until then, santé!