First and foremost, I apologize for being extremely MIA for a while. I would hate to let my fans down, and when I say fans, I mean my father. (I have been informed that he has been printing every post out. Shout out to my biggest/only fan.) A lot has happened between now and my last post. For starters, my phone was stolen. My brand-new, purchased a few weeks before leaving for France iPhone 7. Now comes the question…how?!
Well… I was going on a jog along the beach midday. The sun was out, cars were driving by, and the occasional pedestrian would pass (harmless, right?). Just about 2 miles away from my apartment, a young adult on a bike passes me saying, “Bonjour!” Being friendly, I respond with a, “Bonjour!” as well. A few min later I began to walk, and the same biker passes from the other direction. At this point, I became more aware of what was going on but didn’t think anything bad could happen in the middle of the day in plain sight. When he passes for a third time and attempts to speak to me, I become slightly agitated as well as nervous. Clearly I did not know much French, so he takes out his phone and points at it, saying, “number…number??” I come back pretty stern responding, “no. Stop, please,” just wanting to shake him off. I decide to begin heading back towards my apartment at a slightly faster jog with my phone in my hand, just in case anything funny were to happen I could quickly make a call or shoot a text. Before I even knew what had happened, the biker sped by on the side with my phone, and snatched it straight out of my hands. My earphones ripped out of my phone, and he kept on going. I was left standing there with a look of utter bewilderment, my earphones still in my ear, the chord dangling not attached to anything. The look the biker gave me over his shoulder as he sped away continues to haunt me, stirring up feelings of anger and resentment.
Needless to say, I tried everything I could to get my beloved iPhone back. I tried flagging down passing cars. No one stopped. I went to the police station. No one spoke English. I locked my phone on Find my iPhone. They shortly after turned it off, and it hasn’t been turned back on since.
So…. I’ve been making due with a $50 cell phone bought from the local phone carrier. Won’t be long until I have a hand-me-down iPhone that my older sister is bringing with her when she visits, but I could not imagine what travel must have been like before the use of cell phones. Even walking home alone after getting my phone stolen, I felt lost and naked.
Reflecting back, I’m not too sure what I could have done to prevent that situation from happening. My safety is much more important than a cell phone will ever be, so the thought of me attempting to go after the Biker or retaliate seems a little far fetched. I guess the lesson learned is awareness. Even if you may feel safe abroad, there is always the risk of something happening.
Now, on a lighter note, travel! I have been traveling like crazy, lately. In this post I will reflect back on my trip to Paris with my roommate Brianna. We were there for four nights, and oh man, did we do a lot! Thank goodness for Brianna and her research, we were able to get in to just about every museum and attraction for free with the proof of our student visas. It was amazing! Because of this, we did so much and didn’t feel bad if we only stayed in a museum for a short amount of time. (Hey, we didn’t pay!)
The days were very long, though! The second day we were there, we had walked 15 miles! From the Louvre, to the Arc, to the Notre Dame, we really didn’t miss much. We even were able to see some of the lesser known sights, such as Pantheon and Saint Chappelle. My favorite had to be the Catacombs. I have been to Paris in the past, but I did not have time to see them before. Growing up in Orlando, I have been to both Disney and Universal Studios numerous times. The Catacombs reminded me just of lines at Universal Studios with fake skeletons implanted in the walls, but these bones were real! It was truly amazing yet VERY eerie!
Our last day in Paris, we caught a train north to Normandy. Our amazing tour guide in Normandy showed us the famous beaches of D-Day, such as Omaha beach, as well as the site of the famous Allied victory, Pointe du Hoc. The highlight of this tour, for me, had to be visiting the American Cemetery. The simplistic arrangement of every clean, white tombstone in perfectly straight lines sent chills down my spine. The memorial statue, The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves, beautifully commemorates the live