Monday, June 30, 2014

The Olsen Twins LIED

If you're a product of the early nineties like me, your first impression of the big wide world was through the matching rose colored glasses of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. These pretty preteens had hit London, Paris, Rome, Sydney and the Bahamas before I even got boobs. (Life just isn't fair!) As a result of these riveting VHS tapes, I  spent a majority of my young life idealizing my eventual trip to Europe as being decadently romantic. I just knew that someday, a foreign boy would lock eyes with me at the Trevi Fountain and let me escape into his exotic life on the back of a Vespa.

As an adult fresh off the plane from my own Eurotrip, I have come to realize that the Olsen twins lied. Parisian boys don't zoom around the streets looking for unsuspecting girls to whisk away (although apparently pick-pocketing is a huge criminal industry in Paris, so, watch out for that) and British boys don't casually invite you on a tour around London while you fade into a montage of trying on ironic hats. That just doesn't happen.

Although nine year old me would have been disappointed by my lack of romantic rendezvous, I can honestly say I had the most magical trip abroad and there was something empowering about discovering it on my own. There is nothing more enchanting than wandering around the castles in Ireland, nothing more delicious than a frothy cup of coffee at an outside cafe in Paris, and nothing more fun than staying up late in a London flat with your best friend and becoming even more codependent.

During our two week long adventure we also got to go horseback riding through Killarney National Park, visit the Cliffs of Moher, kiss the Blarney Stone, see the Queen of England, have afternoon tea at The Ritz and spend a day in Paris looking at Renoir originals. Everything about it exceeded my childhood dreams.   

Europe really is decadently romantic but you'll miss out if you look for it in the eyes of a stranger.

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