The decision is in. France it is. There is plenty of wiggle room that let's me decide later on if I want to venture a little further on some Eurorail train passes and take the legendary TGV that appeared countless times in my French learning coursebook in school.
France is also pretty central. And it's a country unlike any other. If i am going to go far to experience something different, then let it be something that truly stands out. I know, I know. Everyone goes to France. France will always be there. But I want to go now in my 20s when I'm red hot and France is so full of culture.
I know many people hate that they refuse to learn English. While I cannot take the side of cocky people wherever they hail from, there is something I respect about someone standing firm against homogenization washing out everything. Then again, most of Europe also speaks their own lingo without rejecting English outright. Hmm.. Maybe the French want to be the 2nd most adopted language? Well maybe this discussion is deeper than I thought.
Anyway France has it's charms. Funny accent and all, I think it's beautiful that they have kept to their culture. And if you have ever seen those girls with dark bobbed haircuts, cigarettes in hand and guys with sandy ruffled hair, you will know they are distinctly French and there is something beautiful about being so recognisable. I would love to go there and get lost in a sea of their eccentricities, even if I end up blogging some frustrations while I am actually there. Sometimes travels are more amazing in retrospect when you see the big picture or when the taste of an experience has had time to mature and grow into something that teaches you an incredible amount -- about yourself or about the world we live in.
Instead of taking a flight from Sydney to Paris, I am thinking of taking a flight to Toulouse. I have heard the South is the most beautiful. I don't know much about Toulouse aside from some treaties and mansions there that are magnificent.
And while I want to experience Paris, I need not start off there nor linger too long. I want to wander the south and just pop in to Paris for the experience of the world's most romantic city. How romantic can it be without someone to romance you anyway? Short of an Aussie bloke finding me in the next few months in Australia, I will take my chances finding me a handsome Monsieur in the beautiful South France to whisk me away to Paris for some true French kissing. Check out the Guardian's take on S. France here if you are interested to know more about what I am rambling about!
The flights are not the cheapest thing. It starts at $2000 and Singapore Airlines is not far behind Qantas, which should say something about my chances to find a cheap flight. Perhaps a string of connecting budget flights? But I'm not sure I'm up for that. Don't really mind long haul flights. Maybe I will meet a mister onboard? (Never happens to me. Only crying babies...)