Last year Jared and I went on a dreamy 2 month trip around Europe. We had hoped, saved and prayed for this moment for 7 years and the time had come! Two months of traveling IS a complete dream but that is not to say that we didn’t experience a few bad days during our trip. As we’ve gotten older we have learned that the best thing a traveler of any kind can do is to not over plan anything. Life still happens while you are on vacation. You might get sick, you might have bad weather, you may end up hating where you are. When you over control and over plan you leave little room for surprises and have a harder time figuring out how to redeem your day. For example, our most favorite day in France started out as our worst day in France
Jared and I have been to France twice. On this second trip we wanted to be sure to spend more time at the Palace of Versailles since the first time we had just seen the grounds briefly. The day started out miserably. It was freezing, we were late, Jared’s foot was injured and we were exhausted. Still, this was our only day to go and we had waited 2 years to be here. The palace is incredible to say the least. Every inch of it is completely over the top and stunning. As you walk up the cobblestone to the palace you are greeted by a golden gate. Literally. It’s gold. Every room took our breath away and we decided that King Louis XIV had totally beat everyone with his palace and palace grounds. No one does it better. Beautiful chandeliers hang from hand painted ceilings. Sunlight reflects off of mirrored walls and large marble staircases wind around leading you to the next floor. Floor to ceiling windows overlook the beautiful and intricate gardens below. Our tour through the palace was ending and we were tempted to sneak back around to see it all again.
When we stepped outside to explore the grounds we were hit with an icy wind. Jared and I are from sunny San Diego so we do not handle weather below 65 degrees very well. We also have a rule when it comes to traveling that if something isn’t working out, don’t force it. That day we went against our golden rule and trudged on. We tried to rent a golf cart since Jared’s foot was really bothering him but they were completely rented out. We looked at each other and made a deal to walk around for a little while until we couldn’t take the cold anymore. Honestly, this day was not looking too good. Then, the clouds parted, the sun came out and we found bike rentals! The grounds of the palace are so expansive that much of it is a park now. There are swans and rowboats on the pond, big trees lining the bike paths and people riding past with baguettes in their baskets. Cycling around, you feel like you’ve just stepped back in time. We spent so much of this day riding along the paths and stopping at the Palaces of Trianon. Yes, there is another palace on these grounds! Like we said, the Sun King totally won. This day started out like a complete failure and ended up being our most favorite day in France.
If you ever have the chance to go on your dream vacation, remember that life will still get in the way. Your days may not start out perfectly and everything may not go completely as planned. That doesn’t mean your day is wasted or your trip was a bust. Relax, go with the flow and try to enjoy the moment you are in.