I wasn’t particularly excited about going to Paris. Mainly, because I’m really sensitive to energy and big cities have had a tendency to overwhelm me, and also because they speak French, not Spanish, hello!
Sounds like a first world problem, I know.
In fact, I was thinking what child in the world gets to choose between Madrid, Casablanca, or Paris for their 17th birthday?
I know a lot of you must be wondering, what is this endless supply of money this lady has to just go anywhere she wants with her son?
I will tell you, it’s not an endless supply (maybe it is–that’s a mindset thing, more on that later), but it’s really a great practice in faith, gratitude, and some budgeting.
Remember: I’ve made my money by being a school teacher. For those of you in the United States of America, you know we do not get paid our worth and I have lived paycheck to paycheck for a long time. I will say, it has been completely liberating since I don’t have to pay rent or bills–you’d be amazed how much those simple things add up.
Just imagine having a teacher’s salary for three months, but not having to pay for all those living expenses. It’s made this possible, plus a tax return, and selling all the things.
As plans have changed, budgets have certainly changed and I have already spent more money than I thought that I would at this point. The original idea was that we would do a bunch of workaways and for longer periods of time, thus not having to pay for accommodations.
We have been traveling with the winds and a lot more has been spent on Airbnbs and hostels.
Before, we left I had this set of ideals of things that I wanted my son to learn and do, and what’s funny, is that in our discussions, I’ve learned that he has already learned a lot of the things I wanted him to, like building a house and learning about permaculture.
We just didn’t have the best relationship before. He didn’t tell me about his life. I frequently did not know what he was doing and admittedly assumed the worst. I’ve learned that he has been doing his work in his own way and has already gained some of the skills that I think are essential for making it in a 21st century world–the living off the grid kind of skills.
I started this post thinking I wanted to tell you all about Paris, and that will be a part of it, but it feels important to share how this is all possible. How much I’ve had to maintain a surrendered mindset and allow the Universe to show us how and to keep listening for the direction we should travel.
I was really stuck on traveling around the entire of coasts of Spain-South and North. I really wanted to go to places like San Sebastian, Bilbao, and Galacia. Heck, we didn’t even make it to Madrid, Seville, or Cadiz.
I think we have managed to save money by going directly to France.
Firstly, we went to Lyon, France, which was the ultimate practice trip for going to Paris.
Because, I have been vocal about my trip, I’ve been blessed to receive some great reactions and reconnections with people who in turn are connecting me to other people and other amazing opportunities (so much to share about that too). We got to stay at a friend of a friend’s house for a few nights as we readapted to yet another way of being in life. (There’s a whole blog post coming about the great Francis, who I will call a professor of life, we learned a dense amount of knowledge in three days times thanks to him).
Our time in Lyon prepared us for how the train systems work, getting on the same page as mom and son, having some fun, and gave us a chance to up our wardrobe a little bit. We had literally been wearing the same set of clothes for nearly three months. I was doing ok with this, mijo, not so much.
Alas, it finally started getting to me too–I did score some sweet new pants and a few new shirts in Benicassim at Mercado al Jueves on their bargain tables for 20 Euros total. Not bad, mom.
I mean we were going to Paris for Fashion Week! So, a little second-hand shopping and a new set of tennis shoes for the boy, his confidence was up again and we were ready for Paris. I was proud, this dude was walking around with his once fresh Nikes, that now had holes for weeks without complaining.
Welp, of course Paris cost way more than I anticipated. I got kind of down and worried for a couple days. We were staying at a great hostel by a canal, with lots of energy around us and I allowed myself to have a little panic about money.
Then I got a pep talk from my friend, Maureen, who I referred to above, and is the reason so many wonderful things have happened and are about to happen. Whatever she said that day got me out of a worried state, and into a state of gratitude and feeling abundant.
How much would it suck to be in Paris and worry about money the whole time? Pretty bad. So I let go of this ideal of what I thought we needed to live off and bumped up the daily budgets, thus bumping up our spirits and allowing us to experience what was here.
There is a lot you can do in Paris for minimal money. Our biggest struggle at that moment in the hostel was that we did not have a kitchen and thus every single meal was being eaten out. That’s an easy 30 euros a day, at least.
Hence, another phone call to mom, who gave me ideas about prepping food without a kitchen. It was at this same time, that mijo, was also asking me to give him a more extended budget to work with. He was ready to attempt dealing with one large sum of money and seeing if he could make it the whole time.
After getting over my personal blockages and trying to come to a reasonable amount for a two-week Paris stint that happened to fall over his birthday, a budget that would make sure he was eating, but also gave him a little birthday treat–I gave him the chance to fly or fall.
My only rule with myself and him was that I would not cave in. I would not give him anymore money no matter what happened. I even joked lightly with my mom about this, I was like he can live off of just water for several days, right?
The best news about the budget in Paris, is that he made it. My deal was he had to make it back to the U.S. before I would give him any other money. He was evidently out of money at the airport, he didn’t ask for anything and managed to make it back on a 10 hour flight with a simple sandwich and a bottle of water–no complaints.
Also, I fell for Paris, I think maybe it fell for me a little bit too.
Our worlds have completely opened up since we decided to go there. After staying at the hostel, we found an Airbnb on the outskirts of Paris–neither of us were completely confident about staying at this creative arts space in a basement. We decided that a two-day trial would be cool, it was definitely the most affordable choice. I was also super curious and just wanted to be in that type of energy.
I hadn’t seen him so miserable upon arrival at any of the places we stayed. We were immediately guided into this place they referred to as “La Cava,” the cave. It was kind of dark, there was nothing on the walls, it was all very simple, super basic living. But, there was a kitchen and a shower with HOT water!
Then, we were given a tour around the rest of the place and that is when the light of possibility came back to his face and my soul. There was a huge artists gallery, another working studio, more artists lofts, and construction for even more cool things on their way–this was a living, thriving, growing artists community that reminded me of “RiNO” in Denver, they called it, “The Brooklyn of Paris.”
That day, I also took a walk around the neighborhood and discovered a magical park just blocks away and felt like we were so in the right space–the butterflies were here!!!
Absolutely fascinated with life. 🌿 🦋What makes you feel in awe, in wonder? When was the last time you were humbled by creation? I always know I’m in the right place when the butterflies show up. Thank you spirit messengers #urbannature #thebrooklynofparis #treesandgraffiti #inawe #showingmytruth #clear #authenticity #raw #freedom #lookup #lookaround #treetherapy
These artists and the people who lived there were high caliber people, connected people. I don’t know how this conversation even got started, but mijo, has always been interested in modeling. He was trying to convince me to take him to the modeling agencies in Denver a long time ago, but for some reason that never worked out–time, space, energy, you know?!
Anyway, maybe two days into this whole situation, one of the women at La Obra says her good friend is a Modeling agent, here’s her number, call her. He does.
Suddenly, he’s having coffee with a modeling agent, going to casting calls, getting pictures taken and being told he has the perfect look and has a legitimate opportunity to begin modeling–he just needs to grow the sides of his hair out a bit and secure an American agent too. He spends our last days in Paris securing this relationship and making modeling happen. We did get to go to a trunk show for Fashion Week, but this new venture took precedence over almost everything.
This modeling thing was his thing. He didn’t want or need me. Independently, he was ready and making it happen. And I was finding my way in another way.
It wasn’t long before I was invited to do something for La Obra’s event coming up later in the week. We were also invited to make dinners and became one with the community of people living in the space. It was feeling like home and family.
Two days became 10 days and concluded with me creating a new dance and performing a solo at their once a year event, Portes Ouvertes Ateliers A’artistes.
When I stopped worrying about money, the doors started opening again. When I allowed myself to be and seep with what was, I got the chance to explore the newness of myself and start to dip into the self I want to become. And mijo, he got to do it all too.
What a blend. What a whirlwind.
And all because of Paris, the place I wasn’t thrilled to go. Sure glad I took the advice from all those other Worldschooling moms, and listened to my dad, I mean my son. Ha, ha!
Check out the Paris Performance on my Youtube Channel
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