I love it when things work out. A few days ago a German woman and I made tentative plans to travel to Versailles together, but I didn’t think we would actually follow through because that’s what people do in this day and age. This morning: I wake up far too early for a hostel breakfast so we won’t have to fistfight our way through the tour group crowds when we get to the palace. The hope is to have an issue-free journey, unlike the last time where somebody had a meltdown in the metro and needed to call a Lyft (it’s me, I was the baby. Sorry, Lisa). But with beautiful crisp weather like this, what could possibly go wrong?
When we arrive, I’m happy that we have tickets. If you need a real travel tip, it’s to buy the Paris passport because it gives you access to dozens of museums and helps you bypass those pesky ticket lines (especially at Versailles where there is one mile-long line for tickets and another one for actual access to the grounds). Okay, with that bit of unnecessary marketing aside, the palace is as beautiful as it was last time. Perhaps even more so due in no small part to the perfect 65 degree weather. I’d have something more insightful to say about this journey, but my notebook is riddled with notes for my writing projects (if you want to know more about how and why royal apartments are set up the way they are, lemme know).
The whole of the palace is consumed with tourists, as expected. It’s still a frustration to see people obviously dressed up for an “Instagram photo shoot” instead of there to experience this rich history. Fortunately for me, once Victoria and I get out to the royal gardens, the crowds thin and allow for breathing room. I love the fact that Victoria enjoys walking. She’s not overly chatty, which is good because our companionable silence that allows for introspection. Together we wander the road up to the home that Marie Antoinette once relied on for her alone time (even though she was widely criticized for it). Le Petit Trianon is smaller than I expected, large but not lavish; but if she wanted to be alone and away from the pressures of Court, it makes sense. The space is beautiful and somehow vulnerable.
Wandering the farm and surrounding gardens make me think about creativity and the need for space. The act of handwriting all of my new work seems to be something I need to be creative. Being alone is also something that I need. Traveling to places that hold some intrinsic connection to my passions influence how I write. Even though it’s obvious that my projects require substantial rewrites, I’m glad to report that I’m beginning to get excited about the prospect of work again. With each experience and sight comes with it a hint of inspiration and the motivation I need to keep going even when I get rejection letters from agents that claim that my work has merit but they can’t get passionate about it. Today is less about the journey to Versailles and all of the beautiful things we see, but instead more about the journey inside of my head that helps re-root me into the dreams I’ve had most of my life. This is the move for the rest of my time in Paris. Here’s a shout out to Victoria, the best traveling companion a flighty writer could ask for on her trip to Versailles.