Charles de Gaulle International Airport

Mid-morning fog welcomed me to Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris, France.

After exiting the aircraft, I follow my fellow passengers to baggage claim.  Next, I follow the signs which direct me toward my rental car.  Hopefully I wasn't tricked into any unnecessary upgrades due to the language barrier.  The language barrier is real and my comprehension of French lacking.  With patience, I eventually make my way through Charles de Gaulle and into my mode transportation for the next two weeks.

I reserved a six-speed manual transmission Citroën C3 prior to leaving the United States.  Driving manual transmission is like riding a bike, once you learn you'll never forget.  I learned how to drive a 1984 four-speed Dodge Omni when I was 15 years old.  It wasn't until my second child was born in 2016 that I transitioned to automatic.



After loading my luggage into the hatchback, I climb into the driver's seat and take a deep breathe.

Guess what I do next?  Floss.  I know it seems weird, but I'm dying to brush my teeth.  It's been a long day of travel and I still anticipate a four hour drive to my final destination of Chateau Orquevaux.  So, I floss.

Now is the time when I'm really hit with the reality that I traveled solo to France.  What was I thinking?  Negative thoughts race through my head, but I have no choice but to shake them off.  After another deep breathe, I think to myself, "I got this, I'm capable of doing uncomfortable things."


I put my left foot on the clutch and my right on the gas as I drive away from Charles de Gaulle.

What happens next makes me laugh out loud.  I circle Terminal 2 several times before successfully exiting the airport and entering the highway.  This is the first mishap, but it certainly won't be the last.  Mishap #2 happens just kilometers down the road.



Mishap #2 happens when I think road signs and a paper map will get me to my final destination before sundown.

I know enough to travel south toward Lyon and away from Paris, other than that, I'm clueless.  After driving several kilometers, l pull over and put my hazards on.  Thankfully, I signed up for Verizon's travel plan prior to leaving for France, just in case I needed it.  Of course I need it, what was I thinking?


Google maps gives me three options for getting to Orquevaux.

I choose the route which doesn't require tolls.  This route may take a little longer, but now I'm up for the adventure because I trust the GPS.  Chateau Orquevaux here I come...

Cameras-for-solo travel-France-photography-by-Studio-L-travel-photographer-Laura-Schneider-_086


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