Summer in Europe by Von
Von Micich recently avoided part of Melbourne’s stunning winter weather by jet setting to France. I asked her to write something; to give us a few minutes of peace out of our day. Her words below.
Recently I went on a holiday that some would call a “once in a lifetime experience”. I spent a month cycling in France over the European summer, right before the tour de France.
I was close to doing a similar trip to Italy a few years earlier but pulled out of it when it was coming close to the last weeks of finalisation. Traveling as a single woman though dodgy towns, trying to drag a bike box around, work it all out on my own, foreign country, language barriers, riding on the wrong side of the road, travel insurance, nightmares!
When the next opportunity came up to do the same thing but in France, I swallowed my fears, paid my deposit and promptly forgot about it for 12 months. I had blocked out the leave in my work calendar, it was all approved and slowly the months ticked by until it was time to go.
I was blindly ignoring the nagging feeling that I didn’t want to go right up to the moment I stepped onto the plane. Things had changed in my life: work was going 110%, my cycling was going so well that I was competing in a women’s tour and coming 3rd overall right up to the morning I stepped onto the plane, and my status had changed on Facebook to engaged! There was a lot I didn’t want to leave behind – even for 4 short weeks.
Life would go on without me, work was handed over, there would be more races on my return and the biggest welcome home from my fiancé.
Stepping off the plane in Nice, France was the most relaxing breath of fresh air. The temperature was in the mid to high 20s and I could feel my whole body unwinding from the long plane trip. Disconnected from the internet and work, not understanding the beautiful flow of the French language spoken around me, it was easy to focus on just one thing at a time and enjoy the holiday atmosphere.
Found my massive bike box in the oversized luggage area, and ½ my tour group at the same place. We checked everything was in order and bikes in 1 piece after the flight, packed everything into vans and boarded the bus to the first of our cycling destinations.
Fully rested from napping on the plane, I jumped in the front seats to soak up as much sun and scenery as possible… Next stop, the monumental – Mont Ventoux!
Stay tuned for another installment!