By mid-morning we pulled into Paris, bleary-eyed and directionally challenged. I was finally in the “city of love” but didn’t have enough time or energy to really get excited about being there. All we had time for was to walk a few blocks away from the train station in search of food. After trudging up and down this annoyingly hilly street for way too long, we finally found a little boulangerie where I had a freaky experience that I wrote about in my “Reflections on Europe… how travel heals all wounds” post.
Basically while eating lunch we heard an old man whistling “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” while opening his shop next door. It was my grandpa T’s favorite song and we would dance to it all the time. It was a freaky experience that convinced me that although my grandpas were gone, they were with me during my travels. It definitely made me emotional but I felt at peace now that our journey was at its end.
During lunch Tasha bought us some enormous eclairs to share which were definitely the highlight of Paris. Oh and the fact that I saw the Eiffel Tower for like two seconds as we rode the airport shuttle bus out of the city. Oh well, maybe next time Paris.
After leaving Tasha and Carina, I boarded my flight to Dublin, sad to leave my travel buddies but excited to return to Ireland. Although it would only be for one night, I was determined to make the most of it. As soon as I landed in Dublin I dumped my backpack in the hotel, took the shuttle back to the airport and then the shuttle into the city. Phew! I knew that I wanted to go to the Temple Bar area but was unsure of how to get there. I was also stressing out about how the heck to get back to my hotel. Miraculously I found the first restaurant that Carina and I ate at in Dublin and went inside for another crazy Irish meal and pint of Guinness while watching the World Cup.
Right as I was about to leave in search of live music, I heard music upstairs. So I followed the music and planted myself at the bar to watch two guys play some Irish music. I ended up chatting with these three cool girls from Canada and America who were actually staying at the same hotel and were on my flight to Toronto! It was a crazy coincidence that put me at ease almost immediately since we decided to share a cab back to the hotel. There was no need to stress about how to get home. So instead I enjoyed my pint and got lost in the music.
It was a serendipitous ending to a wonderful and crazy journey around Europe. I am so happy I was able to spend another night in Dublin, the place where it all began. Despite being in the same place, I felt like a completely different person, more confident, happy and free. I am so glad Carina and I booked this trip and made it happen despite everything going on at home. This trip took us way out of our comfort zone (waaaaaayyyyyy out there) and pushed us to try new things and meet new people. It helped us to grow. I was almost tempted to stay in Dublin for a little bit longer but I knew that my time there was up. After 3 and half weeks traveling around Europe, I had finally let go of my sorrow. It was serendipity that my last day in Europe included the Paris whistling, stumbling upon our first Dublin restaurant again and meeting people to settle my fears of traveling back home. It was time to close this chapter and open a new page.
I will never forget our Eurotrip of 2014. And Ireland, I will certainly never forget you.