An object in motion stays in motion–that’s what we’ve always been taught. And I’ve never seen this to be more true than right at this particular moment.
In the past four days, I’ve taken three day trips to surrounding cities which include, but are not limited to six bus rides, thirty plus miles accumulated on a fit-bit, five chocolate croissants, two museums, and five hundred photos. Yet that’s only the beginning–more travel plans are in the works as we speak. Because what I’m quickly realizing is that there are 1,001 places I want to visit, and approximately four months to do it all. Needless to say: Challenge Accepted.
Thus you may be wondering how does one accomplish so much in so little time? AND how does one accomplish so much on a student budget? Two things: Flixbus and Friends. That’s all you really need to make this happen. While most people told me before I came to Europe that the rail system is the ultimate way to travel, it is also more expensive than you would be lead to think. That’s why when planning excursions in Europe one should look into alternative modes of transportation such as buses. Specifically Flixbus in my experience. Not at all similar to the Grey Hound buses in America, Flixbuses are the type of charter buses that are actually clean and have working wifi. More importantly, the tickets are relatively inexpensive. Talk about a 8€ bus to Geneva instead of a 20€ train. That type of savings adds up quite quickly when you plan back-to-back day trips before the semester. The second anecdote is friends. Because once you make friends in your program, you have travel companions who are willing to risk the chance of getting lost and misinterpreting a second language with you. It only makes life sweeter.
As for life in my new home town, I couldn’t love it more. The first two or three days were definitely a period of adjustment–not that everyday doesn’t bring something new, trust me it does–but by day eleven I’m starting to feel like I’m no longer a tourist in Lyon. It’s home now. A posh home, with coffee shops on every corner, parks every twenty feet, stairs painted with the same color scheme as Candyland, and some of the best food out there. But comfort (weather it be in the context of clothes or food), and the concept of free bathrooms don’t seem to be a priority here, so don’t worry America every place has its trade-offs.
So to recap today, here’s how to kick off a great second-week in Europe: Find friends, buy day old (still more amazing than anything in the states) chocolate croissants for half-price, book a ticket (or lots more) to all surrounding cities within an hour or two from your home, and live by the phrase In Omnia Paratus. Because you ARE ready for anything. You just have to be willing to go out and adventure.