Thanks to my super amazing job, I have 11 (paid) weeks of holiday this summer. Most of it I spent here, in Xiamen, as I organized and finished a badminton training camp for foreigners. (You can read a blog post–and watch a video–about it over here.)
But I haven’t had a lot of me time. That finally changes this week.
I’m going to Europe for a little over two weeks, a place that I haven’t been in at least a decade. I’m super excited. I originally booked the trip for badminton. I was going to play badminton in the Gay Games in Paris this August. It’s open to anyone regardless of sexual orientation or ability, but my gay friends backed out at the last minute and well, it would be too weird to participate without them.
So I’m keeping my vacation, but dropping the badminton. With two weeks in Paris I decided to change the focus from badminton to writing. I’ve been doing that this entire semester.
I’ve mentioned before that each semester I set myself a goal, or something to focus on. I like the semester periods because it gives me a short timeline so I can’t slack off, but it’s long enough to get stuff done. For the past two years my focus has been badminton 100%. I played 5-7 nights a week and put all my focus and energy into that. But this year I decided to focus on my writing.
To that end I reduced my badminton hours (to every other night instead of every night) and added 2 writing days. In the past 4 months I finished the latest draft of my book, had some feedback from early readers and started querying agents. Not too bad for two dedicated writing days a week.
So, my Paris trip I’m gonna keep my writing theme going. I’ve been to Paris a few times so I don’t need to do the tourist stuff. Instead I’m gonna slow travel, spending my days sitting in cafes writing and reading, wandering the streets and visiting the famous haunts of writers. I rented an apartment and I’ll just kinda live there for 2 weeks and take things easy.
Since I have time I’m going to London for a few days as a side trip and I’ll continue my theme there, going to some of London’s oldest pubs where Dickens and Shakespeare have been said to frequent, and checking out the Globe Theatre, and hitting up several English language bookstores. (As well as drinking copious amounts of tea and having at least one afternoon tea.)
Anyway, I’m super psyched. This has been a tough year for me, starting with multiple blood transfusions and a week in the hospital, the flu, food poisoning and a root canal. So if anyone deserves a few weeks wandering the Seine, it’s me.
And yes, while I know August in Paris is the worst time to go, and I know they are having a heatwave, I’m not to worried. That’s the one thing that living in southern China has prepared me for. Now I just have to remember to say “Merci” instead of “xiexie” and I’ll be all set.