So much has happened since I last wrote and all the while Paris is becoming more and more real. I left Dubai a week ago for a bit of a whirlwind adventure. I say whirlwind because there is so much ‘newness’ in this three-week trip I am on.
The first week has been just incredible. We spent a week of holidays in Corsica, an island off the south coast of France. We selected a holiday destination that is very popular amongst the French and its neighboring countries but not so much amongst my fellow Dubaians making it slightly exotic in a non-expected way. This is a rugged land of so much diverse beauty. Steep winding roads make their way through small hilltop villages and coastlines of wild maquis. And sheer cliffs lead to white sand and crystal blue waters. It is a rustic wonderland this magnificent birthplace of the greatest conqueror history has known. While Napoleon Bonaparte came from Ajaccio, he spent two months in Bonifacio, the city that stole our hearts.
We landed in Ajaccio, an easy 1h 45min flight from Paris and drove Bobby Blue (the ugliest looking car you will ever see and also our rental car) all the way to Porto Vecchio passing the seaside retreats of Propriano, Campomoro and the mysterious and quaint Sartene along the way. We spent a few days there before moving on to Bonifacio for another few days. It boasts a haute ville that is charming in every possible way and offers views to melt even the strong-hearted. It also seems to be a playground for the rich as it possesses a marina with a ridiculous number of luxury yachts that would change by the day as their owners made stops for the night and moved on their wealthy sailing adventures. This island is incredible and has so many hidden treasures. Corse du Sud (which is where we were) can easily take 2 weeks alone and we didn’t even step foot in Corse du Nord.
We picnic-ed roadside, we hiked through rocky terrain, we saw waterfalls, we swam, we talked, we laughed (a lot), we waded through rivers, we walked through bushes and over rocks to get to some breathtakingly beautiful hidden beaches. We spoke to wonderful locals and we ate a lot of cheese, gelato and some very memorable meals. It was an amazing vacation and best of all I really detached from work and all the stress I had been carrying around.
As I type this, I am en route to Paris…for 2 weeks of ‘introductory’ work before I officially begin in a couple of months. I have butterflies in my stomach as though I were a kindergarten toddler off to school for the first day. I am in a new land, surrounded by people speaking a foreign language and off to begin a new job I know nothing about. I’m excited but terrified. And it’s raining. In July. Did I ever mention I hate the rain?
Most of all I feel a pang in my heart as I will have to say goodbye to N yet again. Thankfully he is coming to Paris next weekend. I miss him already, even as he sits by my side on this flight quietly sleeping and oblivious to the words I write. I have grown to love this person beyond any measure of words.
More to come from Paris in the next couple of days. For now, I must put on my brave face and face this new challenge ahead of me with full force. It might also be a good idea to buy myself an umbrella…