So, it is this time next week – – I have just 7 days before I start working. Lately I am still running a lot and studying French. The other week I ran over 100KM for the week, so I was really tired before our trip to South of France but now I am taking it easier. I would like to train for a half or full marathon for this year – this is my plan 🙂 This last week, Monks and I went on a short roadtrip to a few places on the coast – – to visit two of his friends (one was Stefan who I met in Ukraine too!) and we also slept in the car one night – which was a little cold and painful but funny memories. Where we went was so beautiful! I went swimming in the sea, you could see in the water pretty clearly. I used my waterproof camera for the first time (underwater). We also went on jetski for the first time, which I thought would be scary at first but it was just so much fun. I’ve never laughed and screamed so much at one time!!! I’m really looking forward to work though and getting out of the house more, making some money. Hopefully soon I will begin a language exchange with some locals and really start to learn French quickly 🙂 

 

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A Week in Expensive Paradise

The last few weeks had been really hard on me with not having a regular routine, job and friends; so in a spontaneous mood, I decided it was best if I went away for a little while – to somewhere new – and when I looked at the map, I noticed how close Geneva actually is. I booked with some people on Blablacar to join them last Sunday and Couchsurfed for my first official time. 

I’m proud of the way I travelled for this trip because more and more I feel like I become braver. When I first started to travel, I would go with a boyfriend by plane, staying in nice hotels. Then I started to travel alone, with tour groups; then backpacking and staying in hostels. This time it was all blablacar, hitchhiking and couchsurfing (and 2 train rides). It was the ultimate cheap holiday, in such an expensive country, and it was just what I needed. When I am travelling, I remember who I am, my loves and dislikes – I am happy. I rented a bike (for free) and cycled for over 50km in Geneva, walked for atleast 7 hours a day, and went for a run in the vineyards of Switzerland. I had conversations with strangers and I lived out another bucket list item, by proper hitchhiking – you know, with a cardboard sign and thumb out. I met really great people and had some interesting conversations. It was really what I needed…

It was only one week that I went away, but when I got back to Lyon it felt like I had been gone for a month because I had done so much and been on the move non-stop. Everything in the house looked different but actually nothing had changed and everyone was up to the same things – but it was nice to see them again. No one knew I was returning – I just arrived to the house and rang the bell, so it was exciting to see Loic’s face when I walked in the door 🙂

The last few days, I have been running a lot. Saturday (18k), Sunday (8k) and Monday (21km). I called the company I will be working with, and sorting out some of the things I need to look at for work, my dad’s website, etc. I introduced Manuel to a Japanese girl I met, as he wants to learn Japanese. I, myself, will start private French lessons soon. I posted on Couchsurfing website and I had a lot of replies for private lessons and language exchange. Today, I would again like to go for a run, ride Velly to the centre and get a fridge magnet or some sort of souvenir for my dad’s birthday, and just continue to stay busy because I think it’s the only thing that it keeping me sane when I am not working. And next week, Loic and I will be going to South of France for some camping, so it will be interesting to do a little more travelling 🙂

2 Months in France

So I have been in France for an unexpected 2 months now. When I left Ukraine, I really had no estimate on time that I would spend here so it’s a bit surreal. 

The other weekend I went out to see some friends and I was walking back from the city alone around 4am. I was just around the corner from the house when a guy grabbed me on the street. It’s a strange feeling because when you think about something like this happening to you, you think that you would be able to move, kick the guy and run away, or even scream, but just in the shock and fear, I didn’t even think to scream for help. He had his arms so tight around my body and up against him that I couldn’t move at all. He started touching me and trying to rip off my shorts. I started to feel emotional, with tears in my eyes, I am asking him what is he doing? And why? He is repeating, “Je t’aime!” The whole time I was looking into his eyes and anticipating what might happen. A rush of visions come to mind of me being raped as he is trying to pull me off the road. He is looking for somewhere to take me into the darkness, when he is distracted and looks ahead at the traffic lights. His grip became a little more loose and I bolted away down the street. I looked behind and he is just staring at me whilst slowly crossing the street. As I am running, I was making sure he didn’t follow me and got home to Loic in a fit of tears, crying until I fell asleep. 

I have had guys yell at me, pull over in cars, follow me home but I am quite shocked about this and it has really made me scared to be alone now, or to pass a guy alone in a secluded area, even during the day. To be honest, lately, I am becoming a lot more anxious and I feel that everything is starting to get to me. I am not feeling like myself anymore. Sometimes I wonder if I am really able to be in a relationship right now because I can’t control my own emotions. I hate to be upset about things or to bring someone else down but at the moment, I don’t have a job, or often go out with my friends. Two girls whom I met when I first arrived to Lyon have moved to Paris and other friends are away on holidays this month or when I call/write them, they are away for the weekend or not going out.

And also, as nice as they all are, it can be difficult living in the house with the guys. Sometimes I really just miss sitting in the clean house with Oxana with some brie and a bottle of wine, listening to music and talking wishfully about love and life. Instead, it is parkour videos, yelling, running around the house and punching each other, all talking in French and I sit there bored, not understanding anything. They are a close group of friends and not that I feel as though I am in the way or left out, but I feel like I don’t get to have nice “girly time.” I miss having quiet people around the house and talking, enjoying some drinks, going to cafes. I really miss my friends. I keep daydreaming of my life in Ukraine, or even London at times, friends, my job, taking weekend trips away. I have to say I miss everything so much.

Sometimes I wonder how many relationships with a different native language actually work out? I really want to learn French but I am very easily discouraged when I sit in a room with everyone speaking another language and I don’t understand anything. I don’t want to keep asking again and again to the guys what they are talking about. When I first started travelling, this wasn’t even an issue for me. I enjoyed sitting and listening to people of different nationalities speaking their languages. It was all interesting to me. But now after Ukraine and now again in France the same thing, oh la la, it is tough on me. I, again, wonder what it would be like to date a guy who’s whole family and all friends speak English. Sometimes when I sit at the dinner table and everyone is speaking together, I daydream that I am in Australia or somewhere warm, outside having a BBQ, with everyone laughing, a good vibe and I understand everything. I am nostalgic for this. Is that bad? Maybe it is – because if I wanted an easy life, of speaking English, then I could have stayed in England or somewhere.

I think I need some time away because now maybe I am over-thinking everything when I need to think of the positive things in my life. Like the work I will begin in September, going to my interviews and meeting new families to work with. And most importantly for me right now, I have a really understanding and amazing boyfriend. This is my life and I decided that I wanted to travel and live in other countries, so I can’t be surprised when things aren’t so perfect.

#Loneliness of a Traveller

http://youtu.be/Oge5T_JiZq4