First Work Trip Abroad: Completed

Bonjour!

I returned from my work trip on a Thursday, had to go into work on Friday, slept all of Saturday and Sunday, then was back at it again on a Tuesday.

My first work trip abroad was a success! I’m feeling more comfortable and relaxed in my position–not completely comfortable and relaxed–but more, and it’s quite a relief.

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The Moet & Chandon property

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I always choose scallops.
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The Moet & Chandon vineyard
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A fancy door and parquet flooring I’d like to have in my house, tyvm.
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There was SO much champagne.
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Moet & Chandon
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My French hotel
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You’ve seen one castle, you’ve seen ’em all, but…still pretty impressive n’est-ce pas?!
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A vineyard
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My hotel room in Germany

I didn’t really get to do anything but work in Germany. I wish I had gotten more pics but–maybe next time! But as you can see, France was a dream. We stayed in the Champagne region where all the world’s champagne is made (otherwise it’s called sparkling wine), and there were vineyards as far as the eye could see. We got to stay at a fancy hotel because my company was doing a collaboration with the hotel, and I may have never been able to stay in such a luxurious place if it weren’t for work.

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Next time I’ll tell you about some artwork I bought (online) for the house and have become obsessed with. But I bought some new running shoes and now I have to go get my money’s worth out of them. I’m training for a marathon next year–haha, just kidding. I couldn’t even finish that nonsensical sentence, BUT I do have a goal of being able to run a mile in eight minutes or less. I don’t know why. Never having a reason for doing stuff is kinda my thing.

À la prochaîne !

On the World Stage

You guys–I don’t mean to sound self-important but–I’m performing on the world stage. I’m not trying to be arrogant. Dems just the facts.

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Ok, I just imagined saying that to my grandma and I felt a big slap in the back of my head and came crashing back to earth. I’m okay now.

It’s my first work trip abroad!

We started off in Berlin, and now we’re in Reims, France.

F R A N C E. Pinch me. I had lunch today with two Italian dudes and a French woman. What is happening? Who am I? Not gonna lie–I was sweating profusely the whole time. Glad I didn’t wear my natural deodorant (that’s a story for a different day!).

I don’t really have a bunch of time but I just wanted to drop a few photos (and a hastily cobbled-together video) of my hotel and stuff!

 

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Pretty cool, huh?! There’s a lot of English being spoken in our crew but I want to get back into my French headspace so I can communicate and practice as much as possible while I’m here! Keep your fingers crossed for me that I keep holding it together and don’t humiliate myself!

À bientôt !

I’m French Now

I’ve been high all day. Not on drugs, you heathens! On an experience.

This morning I went to Starbucks and while I was standing in line, two ladies a few feet in front of me were having a conversation with each other in another language. Was it French? I listened a little harder but I couldn’t really hear them that well–but it sounded like it could be French.

Oh, nope–not French.

Wait, yes it is. I think. 

Then they started to order and one of the ladies was talking to the barista but he couldn’t really understand her, so the other lady would translate. And then I heard the first lady say the French equivalent of “ummm,” and I knew immediately!

Yes, they are French! French people, Kristin!

They started to speak a little louder and I understood bits of their conversation.

Kristin, they are French! This is your chance! Talk to them!

Then the other Kristin that lives in my brain (the one who doesn’t want me to be great!) started trying to talk me out of it.

They’re strangers! You hate talking to strangers! You’ll freeze and forget every word. Don’t do it!

By this time, they had finished ordering and it was my turn.

Do it, hurry up! They’re going to leave!

Don’t do it!

Do it! Do it!

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Guys, I was legit having a heated argument with myself in my head. It was too much. I finally just told Downer Kristin to shut it, walked over to them and said, “Bonjour! Vous êtes françaises? That’s “hi, are you French?”

And they were kind of shocked but in a good way, and they said, “Oui!” And I told them I was still learning French, I asked them where they were from (Toulouse and Paris), they asked me where I’m from, I told them that I had gone to Paris last December, we talked briefly about Atlanta, they told me that my French was very good and I didn’t have a strong accent (!!!), I told them about a couple of French restaurants in the area… This entire conversation was in French. The whole thing! I didn’t speak in English with them once!

I don’t know if it was Downer Kristin or Smart Kristin but one of me was like, Okay say goodbye, Kristin! Leave on a high note! Don’t fuck this up! 

I listened to whichever Kristin was telling me to wrap it up. Let’s face it–I had nearly exhausted my limited vocabulary by that point. I told them it was nice to meet them and goodbye (all in French!), and they said “Bonne Journée !”

I mean, could things have gone any smoother?! Even that bitch, Downer Kristin, was like…

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I walked to my car like…

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It was a good day. I’m still floating.

À la prochaîne !

Backseat Driving, Yoga, & Jacuzzis

One of my top three pet-peeves is backseat driving. It infuriates me in less than ten seconds flat. My friend, Shan, has the worst habit of backseat driving I’ve ever encountered. The worst. But she’s also so hysterically funny that I can never get angry about it. Her commentary on my driving and her feelings while I’m driving  is TV-worthy. I should film it one day.

Today I went to yoga class with Shan and almost peed my pants on the way from laughing so hard. I’ve started going to yoga and Pilates regularly because I noticed that my hips–well, really everything–were getting tighter. Less nimble. But mostly my hips. I’ve always had tight hip and hamstring muscles, but now they’ve started to affect my lower back. And lemme tell you–I don’t do back pain. It’s no joke. So I’ve gotta keep these muscles supple, kids. Yoga always makes me feel one hundred percent better and more limber, and after two or three classes my back pain disappears. But it’s just so boring sometimes! And when it’s not boring, it’s because I’m struggling to hold a pose for five breaths while trying not to tip over and take down the person next to me. Talk about stressful!

Remember going rollerskating as kids and there always being one asshole who would grab onto you while he was going down and would send you crashing down too? I don’t want to be that asshole. Especially not in a yoga class! Can you imagine how mortifying that would be?! I shudder at the thought.

Yoga and Pilates classes are ridiculously priced so I have to supplement at home. I follow Patrick Beach on Instagram for his yoga videos and, ummm, not to be a creep or anything, but…his body. And I don’t mean how it looks, even though how it looks is

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More so I’m referring to how strong he is and how gracefully he moves. Watch…

Does that not make you want to take up yoga daily?! I’d like to be that strong and agile! I also like to follow his Instagram because he has cute pictures and videos of his wife, too. I’m not a total creeper, gah! His Instagram handle is @patrickbeach if you want to follow him.

Aside from Pilates and yoga, I’m also into hot tub jacuzzi-type spa baths. I can’t stand it for long–heat and I don’t get along well. But if I sit in a hot tub for fifteen minutes, I emerge feeling like my muscles are rubber bands! I encourage you to try it whenever you can!

Ok, that’s about everything. I’ve gotta go pack my lunch and prep my clothes for tomorrow because I’m a responsible, proactive adult.

G’bye!