If you asked me two years back when would I be going to Paris, I would answer someday. Someday would be like someday when I win the lottery; someday when I am the American Next Top Model, famous for refusing to take swimsuit picture, or someday when I look for political asylum.
Then it happened, Europe wasn’t someday anymore. It started when I had the wishful thinking about it and Fia pushed me into making a realistic plan. We discussed it for months. I applied for the work leave well in advance. Unfortunately. The fire couldn’t make it at the last minute. I thought it wasn’t going to happen (I wasn’t ballsy enough to travel alone), but then another friend picked up the idea. She was up for traveling to Europe at the planned time. Yay! We stuck with the original route, covering Netherlands, France, and Italy for two weeks.
We booked our tickets, my saving account numbers dropped to the floor but managed to get better shortly before the trip. I didn’t tell many people about it. It was too precious for me to go wrong. I kept my cool, everything felt like a faraway dream or a long term goal. Then I started to buy the necessities, like a winter jacket, thick socks, boots, etc. I made a day-by-day itinerary, applied for a Schengen visa, booked the accommodations and tours, and continue to save up. I put the Eiffel Tower as my desktop at work and waited. Eagerly.
Yesterday, after the longest flight ride of my life, we arrived at Schipol Airport. I didn’t prepare well for the long haul, I didn’t pack a toothbrush, moisturizer even hand wipes in my carry-on. Moreover, the weather was not cold enough for my thick leather jacket and boots. In short, I looked like death and felt like one too. Anyways, Schipol Airport looked fancy, but I came from a fancier airport, so I was not impressed. There was a newsstand like in the movies. Cool! We took our luggage, step outside, and flagged a taxi. I experienced a heated aircon for the first time.
Shortly after, I met Amsterdam city. Oh my, I don’t have words to describe my feelings at that time. I was at the peak of happiness. The street was clean, with people on bicycles and yellowish leaves in the trees lining. I was greeted by Autumn. I didn’t see as many big buildings as I thought I would see (I had envisioned a city similar to NYC, boy was I wrong!). After some time, the taxi stopped in front of our hotel, I stepped out into the cold breeze. Europe has officially greeted me.