Porte De Bourgogne: Not quite as impressive as the the Arc De Triomphe but far fewer tourists.

Bordeaux Bound

The effects of too much beer in Munich and not enough sleep are weighing on me by the time I’m on the train. I’m starting to come down with something. I’m in some need of some downtime.

Which is perfect because we’re going to stay with friends in Bordeaux. Time to take a break from French wine too. We didn’t even do a wine tour in Bordeaux, how kooky is that? It’s nose back to the grindstone this week.

There is this fear of missing out (FOMO) that a lot of people have when they aren’t travelling. It’s amplified when they are. In my mind, this pervasive attitude contributes to a lower level of life satisfaction.

There is an opportunity cost to everything we do in life. Meaning life is a series of tradeoffs. You are always taking one opportunity at the expense of another.

We’ve already met a lot of ambitious travellers thus far. Most are doing the backpacking thing, as opposed to the digital nomad thing. They are anxious about missing things. So lost in that anxiety that they appear to forget to enjoy the time they do have. I recommend meditation.

This ‘get-up-and-get-at-er’ attitude is fine to have when you’re on vacation for a week or two, even three. But it’s also a good way to burn yourself out if you try to live that way all the time.

We’re not on vacation as I still find myself reminding others. The photos don’t show all the work behind the scenes. Frankly because work isn’t that interesting. We’re travelling but we still have work to do. We need the financial support that our jobs provide in order to continue travelling.

OK…Munich and Paris were vacation but I’m never really not working. That is not a badge of honour, it’s out of necessity. I’m the sole employee, which means if something needs my attention I need to make an effort. Thankfully smartphones and wifi permit this. I can always check in with clients. When I’m “vacation” I can put out most fires in less than an hour each day if they arise.

We’d buy French SIM cards in Bordeaux that gives us 100GB of data in France for a whopping €20 a month. We get 25GB of 3G data in most of the countries we’ve planned to visit. Except Vietnam. It’s not always the best signal but it’s certainly made travel and work easier since we purchased them. I might even keep it when I get back to Canada, it’s half what I was paying there for 5x the data.

I admit there is a little voice in the back of mind telling me to get out of bed and go do something every single day.

“You’re never going to have another opportunity,” it whispers to me.

Except there are a lot of places in the world and things to do that I will likely not be able to do. The world is too big and my time finite. All I can do is make an effort towards things I believe matter most. While I remain open to experiences that aren’t always top of mind.

Munich and Paris are a steady reminder that I need to work some relaxation into the routine too. You can’t live your life with the pedal to the floor.

Sometimes you have to stop and take it all in. Bordeaux is pretty…

Trains are Wonderful

Is there any better way to travel than by high speed train? This could be my favourite thing about travel in Europe. How connected everything is and how civilized train travel is. You show up 20 minutes before it leaves, walk on, find your seat, store your luggage overhead and you’re off at 250km/h.

There is also something about a subway system or trams that beat buses every time. The capacity, the speed. I don’t exactly know why I feel this way, just that I do. I always prefer cities with extensive train/tram systems over buses. New York City, Seoul, Hong Kong, London, Paris, they all have one thing in common. Extensive train/subway systems.

I love it when I can hop on the SkyTrain to get somewhere in 1 transfer or less.

There is a Tram in Bordeaux when we arrive but sadly it will not take us where we need to go. The bus system in Bordeaux is decent. Only one transfer to get where we need to go, but some construction throws us off.

Turns a 30 minute bus ride into a 50 minute bus ride/walk. We’ve lucked out with weather so far so an extra little walk isn’t too bad even with luggage. Glad we packed carry on only.

It’s only one bus from where we’re staying to downtown Bordeaux too. Not bad, it’s never that busy. They have a card tap system. We finally just got one in Vancouver but they are still working out the kinks.

Transit officials please note this makes life easier. Hong Kong being one of the best examples. You can use their travel card, the Octopus Card, like a debit card, they’ll even accept it as payment at a Seven Eleven.

In Bordeaux, you can also pay cash and they will give you change! Don’t expect to hand them a €50 note or anything but they bring out this cute little change purse. They do not do this in North America, exact change only.

Down for the Count

The blackout blinds in Europe are AMAZING. Yes, it looks like every building is on lockdown from the outside. Inside I wish these were common place in Canada.

Anyone have any ideas on how to find this sorcery in Canada?

By the end of our first day in Bordeaux I’ve got a cold. Being able to sleep in a dark cool room, in a comfortable bed works wonders for keeping it short and sweet. I’m working in bed and making new cat friends.

He likes my beard…