When my friend Angela told me she was thinking about quitting her job and moving out the country to the south of France and wanted me to join her on an investigative trip, I was all in. Well, not completely in, as her plan was to go around Thanksgiving.
All I heard was “let’s take a cold trip to France” instead of being on the beaches in Cartagena, which was my initial plan. But, I could not resist helping a friend jump out of her comfort zone in search of happiness.
This trip and upcoming move out the country is a completely rogue experience for Angela. If you knew her, you’d know she is a die-hard San Francisco Giants and Forty-Niners fan. She also is crazy close to her family, all which are based in the Bay Area. Knowing all of this, you’d think there is no way she’d ever move, let alone quit a great job.
Naturally, when Angela started telling people about quitting her job and moving out the country, there were many who passively objected.
– You are too young to retire
– You don’t have enough money to quit or move out the country
– You don’t know the language
– Won’t you miss your family? You don’t know anyone
These are the same objections I received when I moved to Italy. I later realized it was just people pushing their limitations onto me. However, at the same time, if I were not secure in my vision, the Danielle you see today would not exist.
I had no intentions of being another one of Angela’s friends who faked excitement, while at the same time trying to talk her out of her decision.
Plus, I was excited about our rogue trip to France. So much so you’d think it was me who was about to embark on this life changing adventure living aboard.
Sadly, like any journey to push past your comfort zone to go rogue, there were plenty of hiccups on this trip. So many, I’m not sure where to start.
Our first hiccup was trying to get to our Airbnb in the small hilltop village of Eze. Or as Angela likes to describe it “E-Z-E, like the rapper” as she moves her hands as if she is scratching a record.
Eze is located on the French Riviera or Cote D’Azur between Nice and Monaco. This area is best known for its posh beach resorts.
We took a six-hour (or more) train ride from Paris to Nice, where I swear Angela almost lost me to boredom. Thankfully jet lag helped me survive the train ride. Only for our car rental company being closed with no local after-hours assistance to nearly kill both of us.
That meant using cellular data to call the United States from France to argue with a customer service representative for 45 minutes and an unplanned trip to the airport. To repay us for our time and cellular data, they offered us a car Angela couldn’t drive and a navigation system that thought every straight road was a roundabout.
What’s That Smell?
The second major hiccup and the foulest smelling was our Airbnb. The location of the house was perfect as it was right on the sea. Had there been a glimmer of sun, best believe you would have seen a picture of me sitting on the beach. But, unfortunately, it was November and rain was in the forecast for the entire trip.
When I walked into the house, the first thing I noticed was a bottle of air freshener. My initial thought was that someone forgot to put it away. However, when we went out for dinner and came back to the smell of a port-a-potty in the house, I knew then that the bottle of air freshener was there in case of quick and urgent need. There, unfortunately, were many times of need.
Hello? Anyone Home?
And though the smell was horrible, it didn’t compare to the eerie quietness of being in the Cote D’Azur in November. We knew it wasn’t high season, but if felt like that Brady Bunch episode when they visited a ghost town.
We must have gone to five restaurants before finally finding a location that was open for dinner. And this was at 7:00 PM! Looking for shops or real estate offices? You could see within the windows, but there was not a shopkeeper or relator in site.
This really freaked me out when an ATM tried to rob me of my bank card and I literally had to fight it. Thankfully, I won because it didn’t look like the bank had been open in days.
These are just three examples of some of the many hiccups we experienced on the journey to see if Angela quitting her job and moving out the country was the right decision for her.
Sadly for Angela, she and I were on different airlines and she endured one more nightmarish incident that no traveler wants to experience. Her flight back to California got canceled due to a strike. And it was Thanksgiving! The girl known for her undying love for her family was going to miss Thanksgiving, one of our favorite days with her family.
Everything Angela experienced would have many curled up in the hotel bed screaming, “Why me?” That was not Angela.
She took this opportunity to continue exploring France, but this time as a first-time solo traveler. But that’s what rogue women, or women on their journey to living a rogue life do. You keep pushing towards your dreams even when you keep getting life’s hiccup.
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