Planes & Polaroids

Ask me to name my favourite animated movies and the answer will always be the same,

  1. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  2. Beauty and the Beast
  3. Anastasia

And what do these movies have in common?

True love, in any of its forms, can only be found in one place…Paris!

And also like the female leads- Esmeralda, Belle and Anastasia- are all badass babes who will not tolerate anyone’s bigotry! But that’s a discussion for another day.

Ever since I was little it was a dream of mine to travel, to see the world for myself and not through google maps. And this past December I finally got live out my childhood dream!

Before I go on any further I just have to give a big thank you to my Daddy who art in heaven! He truly went above and beyond my request! Not only did He bless me with a chance to travel, but He also sent me where my little 7-year-old-self longed to be AS WELL AS ITALY!!!

Paris at 8am in the winter time is a kind of magic that I can’t describe. The streets are brightly lit, the smell of coffee and freshly baked croissants hangs heavily in the air…and I’ve never been in awe like this before. It all felt like a dream, drifting from the Eiffel Tower to the Louver to d’Orsay.

The exact moment I realized I wasn’t dreaming was at the foot of the Notre Dame. The tears streamed down my face. I finally understood Victor Hugo’s description of love is like a tree.

“Love is like a tree: it grows by itself, roots itself deeply in our being and continues to flourish over a heart in ruin. The inexplicable fact is that the blinder it is, the more tenacious it is. It is never stronger than when it is completely unreasonable.”

― The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

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Au revoir Paris, you’ll always have my heart.

Bonjourno Rome – now it was time to eat my body weight in Gelato because I am all about setting realistic goals.  Before I could even attempt my gelato fantasy, Rome was to be taken in, sights, sounds and most importantly smells – hello pasta my old friend (laced in marinara with the hint of basil).

On a more serious note, Rome is a wormhole, it’s like there is a glitch in the time-space continuum, walking past ruins that I’ve only witnessed via my television *insert Russell Crowe in all of his gladiator glory*

Gelato was had (obvi) at the Trevi Fountain – I enjoyed the gelato!

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One train and I was now in Florence – blankets of green with actual snow-capped mountains in the distance, all I could do was stand jaw-dropped and eyes the size of saucers, how breathtaking. The scenery was taken in, now it was time to eat. Ok, guys now I want you to imagine, a bowl of four palm-sized tortellini, filled with three kinds of cheese, mozzarella blow torched over them and butter which I could smell from across the room melted over these beauties – Florence my love!

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Another train and what’s up Venice – cold AF! I am South African so the coldest temperature in winter is 11 degrees and that’s a really bad day, but -2 degrees is just blood-chilling.  Venice is beautiful in a way that is unsettling, one minute you’re walking by the Grand Canal, take a left and you’re in a courtyard on the ocean with trees  – I have questions that need to be answered.

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Last stop Milan – I wish someone would have told me to act according to my upper-class private school education, welcome to Snob Central.  The one thing I was grateful for is that Milan is modern and you can tell that they are the fashion capital of the world because even their buildings are the bomb.com, while their architecture is modern contemporary and covered in miles of glass I found comfort in knowing that people like me were visible in the graffiti that laces the streets, subway stations and even electrical boxes almost symbolizing a giant middle finger that I wanted to throw up.

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That was it, my European adventure was had and in good timing too, I was so homesick and the saying ‘no place like home” has never rung truer!

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