I believe that taking trips makes you learn things about yourself, especially when traveling solo. For instance, on this trip, I fully realized how much I like being in huge cities—New York, Paris, Barcelona… the culture is fascinating and I get a kick out of how some things are the same wherever you are. For instance: the attitude of a big-city-dweller seems quite similar from NYC to Paris.
That said, I think that Vannes provided a more authentic experience.
(Vannes’ population is around 55,000)
Little towns have their own culture, history, and way of life. It’s a far cry from the hustle of visiting one of the aforementioned cities!
So then, here’s how to have the most fun while you’re there:
- Go find the park
Being out in the sun makes me really happy. One of my first days in Vannes, I just walked around and ended up finding a duck pond and surrounding walking trail. I was able to sit there and see people passing by, and watch the birds flying around. It felt great—sitting there and writing in my journal, having basically no desires and no agenda. Ahhh, relaxation.
- Check out the Galettes
I really can’t get over how delicious galettes can be. The Breton people really got the formula right: thin savory pancake + whatever toppings you want + bowl of cider = crazy delicious. Consider opting for the “menu” at lunchtime — a galette followed by a sweet crepe is heavenly.
- Stockpile some food during the weekend
This was the hardest thing for me to figure out. Stores (even supermarkets!) WILL NOT BE OPEN on Sunday/Monday. Okay, there are exceptions, but honestly, it’s much easier to just shop for the whole weekend in advance! French culture is weird like this—I’m not sure why store-owners don’t open on Monday… but it’s just the way it is. Seriously, the only things that are open are restaurants and bars. Plan ahead and you’ll do just fine.
- Try other delicious Breton food
“Alex, why are you such a fatty? Seriously, stop telling us about food.”
I know, I’m focusing on the gustatorial nature of the place more than I should. I accept this. The food there was SO DELICIOUS that it actually warrants 3 points on this list.All of the food that I tried there was fatty (usually involving creme fraiche) and delicious. Those Bretons know how to make some delicious dishes. My friend Shelby (with whom I stayed) had a tiny recipe book for local cuisine. If you’re planning to stay in a region for a little while, or can read the language enough, this would be a good investment for you.
- Get the heck out of dodge (optional)
So, the best part about taking it easy, relaxing, and adapting to small town life, for me? I recharged my mental batteries, started feeling a little complacent, and began to think about the next part of my trip.Hey, I’m on a quest for awesomeness, here. I can’t stay in one place for too long!
I started this blog in an effort to put my travel stories somewhere, and in that regard it’s serving me quite well. I do think I’m due for some redesign-action; the appearance of this site doesn’t represent my own design ability enough.
Photoshop Express is a new service from Adobe. Free, web-based Photoshop. Man, I really love that company sometimes.
My GTD “in-folder” is completely overflowing, and my TiddlyWiki is woefully outdated. I’m thinking of bankrupting my whole system, and starting over. I wondered if I could bring my system on the road with me, and I had mixed results. Theoretically everything is portable, but the ease of use was a hindrance which prevented me from using it completely.
I’d love to hear any experiences you’ve had with re-starting organizational systems. Was it worth it for you, or should I just try to get my current system back in line?