I stared at this glossy map for a while before I made any decision. My eyes were level with Madagascar. I had no intention of going there but I did some research to pay off my curiosity and the more of it I did the more I was set on traveling there.
I wasn’t entirely sure however. I’ve never been to London or Rome, Tokyo or Sydney, Dublin or St. Petersburg and these are all places I planned on visiting. Something about Iceland had always intrigued me. I studied the life of Bobby Fischer for a bit and I remember how he had found asylum there.
My life as an amateur chess player has taken a hiatus, but I was still interested in pursuing the culture. I was looking up flights to Reykjavik at this point when I found discounted flights to Paris. I quickly did my research and without a moment’s hesitation I booked the flight.
Part of my love in traveling is not knowing exactly where I’m going. Having a plan takes away from the moment. It misguides people and keeps them from going with their instincts. I want to show up in a city and not have a clue what to do or where to go. I don’t want to be on the guest list. I’ll take my chances. Keep your itinerary and chauffeur. I’ll be out really understanding what it means to be alive.
Two of my friends from college decided this was one of my ideas they’d partake in. Noah was my roommate and Isabella had always been a close friend. She had one last summer before she began law school and I was happy she was coming along. Why she decided to study law will never fully resonate with me. I’d much rather be with a woman with a way with words.
I arrived a week earlier then they. I had 10,000$ put away in a bank account and I didn’t plan on leaving France with any of it.
I called Isabella as I stood in the presence of the Eiffel Tower.
”Guess where I am?” I asked her.
“The Palace of Versailles, she said.
“Not quite. You know I’m waiting for you for that one.”
“You better,” she said.
“What are you doing now,” I asked.
“I’m out shopping with my mom,” Isabella said. “We just ate sushi and I’m looking for new suitcases.”
“Tell your mom I said hello.”
“I will,” she said.
“I called because I was just thinking about how I don’t want to stay in hostels for these next months,” I said.
“Where else would we stay?” She asked.
“Well I don’t know how to go about it, but I would like to rent out an apartment,” I said.
“Is that even possible?” She asked.
“I’m going to try.”
“Who is going to rent out an apartment for a couple of months anyway?”
I told her this was more than a vacation. I told her I didn’t plan on leaving.
“I want to live and breathe this city,” I told her. “I want to become a part of it. I want to be changed by it.”
“Leonidas, you never fail to surprise me,” she said.
“I’m anxiously awaiting your and Noah’s arrival,” I told her. “I’m off. I will see you soon.”
“See you soon,” she said.