Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Year's Resolutions Update

Four weeks into 2014 today, I thought I would provide some sort of update or plan of attack regarding my New Year's Resolutions which you can read about here.

Since I am a very goal-oriented individual, it grieves me to report that I plan to delay trying to accomplish one of them. Here it is... I need to attempt to land a job and move to Philadelphia after my birthday trip to Paris in April because I simply cannot afford to move plus have spending money for my trip which is only 10 weeks away. I have to be realistic with my finances. I felt like a failure since I want it so badly and it hasn't happened yet and on top of that, I can't afford to make it happen when I want. I told two friends about this possibility when we were out on a Saturday night weeks ago and they comforted me that it was a fine plan. Plus, I just told Elizabeth, the friend accompanying me to Paris, on Monday evening and she agreed with my logic as well. (All old high school friends as a matter of fact. Love them!) I truly take comfort in that support. It's sunk in now that it's OK. As a result, I even submitted my vacation request at work yesterday since I hadn't yet, thinking I might be giving notice before then. Hopefully I can find employment and easily move back to a city in the cool springtime weather. I cannot wait to have a completely new life and update this very blog with all that city has to offer, all those wonderful things and places like a well-made cappuccino at an independently-owned coffee shop that I don't require my own reliable transportation to get to. I am so done being stuck in the suburbs and often inside my apartment, with a lemon of a car I am too afraid to drive or asking to borrow a vehicle that two people share already in order to arrive anywhere interesting. (Even though I make the best of any situation!) I can instead take public transportation or simply walk to whereever. As soon as I come back from Paris, I can truly commit myself to applying, like to about a half a dozen jobs a day like I did to land my current Leasing Professional gig. It's not like I can't perfect a resume posted online or simply keep an eye on the job market in the meantime.

Another resolution was to enjoy my 30th birthday in Paris. Like I mentioned, I called my travel partner Elizabeth Monday after work. She's coming over Saturday night so we can plan for Paris, likely over pizza and wings from an independently-owned place where I score a small discount since I advertise so much for them at work. Elizabeth and I have exchanged multiple long emails, but it will be great to meet again in person. She can borrow another France-related book of mine as well as look at all my travel items and luggage I already own. We don't need to buy something I already own since I could pack it, she could borrow it or we can share it. We've already come up with an optional itinerary, but I want to prepare for our meeting, coming up with several discussion points ahead of time so that it is productive. Things like sharing our airline's baggage restrictions. I also think I remember reading that we need to make a reservation for something months in advance. I look forward to hearing all the details about what she's come up with for even more things to do. Ah... we are so excited...

I already shared my thoughts about what to take with Elizabeth. I plan to bring the clothing, travel stuff and luggage that I already own, but I also hope to budget for four new items: shoes, a battery for my digital camera, an umbrella, and a new Kindle book. Firstly, I already purchased this pair of black ballet flats on Monday night. I ordered them online immediately when I noticed the best price in weeks. They feature the "N5 Comfort System" support from Naturalizer, so I can go forever in them. Plus, for comfortable shoes, they look nice. I bought the same ones that are my go-to pair for work, just in a better width for me, so I feel confident that I made the perfect selection. (Sidewalks in the apartment community still wear down these quality shoes quickly, so my current ones that are not even new now would be positively shabby by then.) Secondly, my old camera battery is completely dead and I have to look into buying a replacement. Thirdly, I've always wanted a black Samsonite Windguard umbrella and my trip to Paris where they apparently they have spontaneous downpours, would be the perfect excuse to pick one up. I installed the cheaper automatic open one on my wish list Monday night, but might wanna spring for the auto open and close one... And, finally, I may have found a good book for the flights, Julia Child Rules: Lessons in Savoring Life by Karen Karbo. This author wrote a book in a similar style, The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman, which I enjoyed. You can read the review I posted back on August 4, 2011. I've had the Kindle edition on my wish list for over a week now. I'm not promising that I won't add to the list or buy something in addition; this is simply the plan.

I promise to update all about my packing when it's closer to my departure date since with practice as a traveler, I have learned to pack lightly. I hope to take a carry-on with a non-wheeled duffel inside, so I can check that bag full of clothing on the way back, keeping most of my souvenirs with me safely in my carry-on. To hold you over, view my research so far in the form of my How to Pack for a Trip Pinterest board. As you can see layers in neutral colors is key. If you have any advice for me, then please comment. I would love to hear it.


  1. Have fun in Paris, you will loooove it! And yeah, bring good, comfortable shoes. I went in winter and thought my wedge heeled boots would work for a 4 day weekend. Wrong. :-/ I wanted to cut my feet off by the end of every day. No fun limping through the d'Orsay. Flats will be perfect! (I was the person who rec'd Le Quimcambosse)

    1. Thank you! I'm unsure how to express how excited we are! I think my particular pair of flats will be perfect, plus I'll start wearing them a couple of weeks before. Elizabeth was very interested in the Velib bike rentals when we were discussing the trip last night, which might save our feet too.

  2. Funny, I too wrote about resolutions today {although of a slightly different variety}.

    Oh dear, if you are looking for packing advice, I could write an entire book! If you think packing for a few weeks is difficult, imagine packing for five months, with only 1 carry-on! But I digress. Here are just a few traveling tips:

    1. Don't wear heels to explore the Louvre, or any other museum, for that matter {no matter how desperately you want to appear elegant and stylish} – I speak from personal experience. // 2. Bring a cross-body bag that you can easily hang over your shoulder, leaving your hands free to explore and/or defend yourself, if the need arises. {Just kidding. But really, be safe.} // 3. I can't remember if you've already made accommodation plans, but if you haven't, check out We scored a lovely Parisian flat for far less than a hotel would've cost us. // 4. Bring lots of accessories {just don't wear too many at once}. It's the easiest way to re-wear clothes without being so obvious about it. // 5. Roll clothing up to give you more room in the suitcase and to prevent wrinkles. // 6. Don't concentrate all your energy on an itinerary. My absolute favorite memories of traveling are when I would aimlessly wander around the city.

    XOXO, Oksana

    1. I love your resolutions! Like I said, mine were hastily made. Yet traveling internationally and moving can be a lot for a single year. Luckily, I believe that you can start your life over from any single moment if you want, not just on January 1st.

      I am proud of my flat shoe selection. I already own them and ordered a new pair of the same online. I expect them to arrive this week. They feature a cap toe, very Chanel.

      From this comment, I added a cross body bag to my trip shopping list. I agree that it's a more secure option. I can pick up a cheap one that zips shut from Target. Preferring a shoulder bag or clutch, it's not my usual style, but I can store it among my travel stuff and it will be a great investment when I become much more of a world traveler. I truly appreciate that suggestion!

      We got a cheap hotel, which concerns me a bit, but we both are up for an adventure. We know it'll save us money on transportation being centrally located in the 1st. I'll be sure to review it!

      I plan to bring scarves, perfect for Paris, right? I couldn't leave without some earrings at least! I have to think about which pieces of jewelry I want to bring as I've been wearing bracelets and bangles more often lately.

      I tend to roll my clothing, plus, I further compact the rolls into an Eagle Creek pouch for even more space. When clothing doesn't move around, it tends not to have new folds too.

      I told Elizabeth since she was going to Paris with me on my birthday, that we could do what she wants. She likes to follow an itinerary but I still talked to her about it, that I just don't wanna feel like I'm following one every single moment and also offered a compromise, an itinerary with lots of leisure time and time to wander built into each day. We agreed that we could leave time open but select a choice of something to do if we feel like it.

  3. Hi Michelle,

    I agree with Oksana that wandering around is always a good (and cheap) way to see Paris. My favorite spot in Paris is the Luxembourg gardens. It's a beautiful park that houses the sénat and has a wonderful, less-toursity view of the tour eiffel. Sitting around the fountain people-watching with a good parisien sandwich sounds like a lovely way to spend a couple hours. Let B know if you want the numbers / emails of some of our French friends for an authentic evening out with 20 somethings. -n

    1. Hey N! Happy Belated Birthday to You!

      I've talked with my travel partner about some more leisure time and I think we'll compromise. Not that I don't wanna see everything too! I need to listen to such advice myself!

      The Luxembourg Gardens is definitely on the list, especially after our museum pass expires. I suggest a lot of picnicking because it is budget-friendly and just wonderful at that!

      I mentioned meeting up with your French friends to her and will call B if that's something we decide on. We keep discovering the countless things to do in Paris, and now, possibly Rouen! Thank you for the offer as well!