My three weeks in France comes to a close. The last three weeks have been very different from those prior this year, mainly due to the pace of living. Albi is a very small town in the South of France with a population of 70,000. Honestly, the population feels about 5000. Life in Albi is very simple, and as a result, I really slowed down my days. Mornings were easy, they usually consisted of a short stroll down to the main bakery followed by a few hours spent in the sun, nibbling on all different varieties of croissants.
By midday, I’d usually find myself nestled up in a cafe, doing some writing or editing photos. What I love about being in any place for an extended period of time are the relationships you get to develop. For me, I made three friends at a small cafe called Amapola kitchen. Maeve, the owner who has travelled extensively herself recently just moved to Albi with her husband to base for a few years. Alas, she decided to open her own cafe and I really like what she’s doing. With super fresh ingredients, a love for coffee and a relaxed style, she’s created and built herself a wonderful little cafe. It’s a vibe, I spent many afternoons there over the last three weeks and also took a lot of photos for her. You can check these out below.
Afternoons, well they usually consisted of running out of Albi in every direction possible, bike riding playing squash and soaking up more warm weather.
Across the three weeks I felt an array of emotions and at times struggled with the idea of slowing down. Up until this point, 2018 has been extremely fast paced and I love it like that. I try to make my days as dense as possible so when I look back on the months or the year, it feels a lot longer than if I just ‘cruise’ through the days. It took a big perspective change to help me adapt to the pace of living and at times ‘lack’ of things to do.
Time is our most valuable resource and it’s something that so many of us talk about not having enough of. Whilst in Albi, time was something I was rich of. It was a great time to self-reflect, write, read, eat and train well along with looking over my goals and setting new ones as I move towards the back end of 2018.
Whilst in Albi, I bought myself an old-school Peugeot bicycle. I often say, riding is my favourite thing to do in new cities and countries. I can see a little bit more than I can running and I get to go fast, my favourite. Having the bike reminded me of my time living in Hawaii in 2015 when I bought a moped. Just like in Hawaii when I bought a moped on my second day, this time I bought a bicycle on my second day. I jumped on a local buy/sell website leboncoin.fr and found a bike for 50 Euro. After three weeks, I was able to sell it again for $50 Euro which was a huge win. Over the three weeks I had two flats, so my only cost was the repair of both of them. That’s a travel tip from me to you, if you’re ever in a place for a few weeks or longer, get yourself a pair of wheels as soon as possible. It makes the trip many times funner.
Next week, I’m off to Norway for the Dahlie Ultimate Challenge! I’m happy with my training in the lead up to the event but I still don’t know what it will entail. All I know is the weather is going to be cold and the conditions will be harsh. They said to pack my running shoes and watch and they will supply the rest.
Keep an eye out on my instagram, it’s going to be a fun one.
What if we asked for adventures and not security? What if we asked for smiles from those around us instead a few extra dollars? There’s a lot of ‘what ifs’ out there, and you and I sure know you have the power to change more than a few of them. – JL