Tag Archives: LDR

Episode Eighty-Two – Old and New

Hello!

I’d like to tell you a little story. A little while ago, I was filling in a very demanding job application that required a list of every job I had ever had and of every trip abroad I had ever taken. As you can imagine, this was a complete pain: I had to trawl through emails from years ago, searching for flight confirmations and clues from years-old conversations to pin down the exact date I started X job or moved to Y address.

In doing this, I realised that the emails that I sent to my long-distance partner during that time served as a sort of running commentary on my life; not just on the milestones but on the little things too. Everything was there: my good days, my bad days, my self-depracating humour, my crippling weaknesses, my hopes and dreams for a phantom future I would never, it turns out, live out. It’s comforting to have this log of experiences to look back on, so I can trace what happened when, which decisions I made and why, and how I got to be where I am today.

Since the relationship ended, I have kept no such record of my life. For a whole year, all of the people who were closest to me actually lived close to me – just along the hall or at most a bus ride away. So we would just talk about things in person, and I never had to write it down. But now things have changed again. I’ve moved to Madrid, most of my friends are far away again, and in the meantime I somehow seem to have got involved with another American, who is now back in America. And so today, when I came home from an exciting day of discovering my new home city, my first instinct was to write him an email and tell him all about it. I guess old habits die hard.

But then I stopped and thought for a minute. Why was I relying on him to be the reader of this micro-auto-biography? After all, my incredibly exciting and inspiring day essentially amounted to eating a sandwich and taking a book out from the library. And while I’m confident I could have composed an 1800-word email about it all, was I really doing it because I knew he would be dying to hear my news? Of course not: I was doing it for the simple cathartic release of writing it all down. I was doing it for me. And then I remembered that I have a blog called A Trail of Breadcrumbs whose explicit purpose is to document all of these little things, allowing me to express myself without wittering on to my long-suffering American boyfriends about my mediocre days-in-the-life, and to have a written reminder of what happened when and how and why, so I can read back over it later and trace how my life got to where it is today.

So instead of an email, I’m writing a blog post. A blog post that, of course, didn’t turn out to be about the delicious roast beef sandwich I bought from a food truck at a pop-up street fair, nor about the peaceful library right in the middle of the stunning Parque del Retiro where I obtained my Madrid public library card and borrowed a book by Javier Marías just to force me to go back again. Instead, it turned out to be about everything that’s happened since I stopped writing in here, and everything that’s happened since I started writing in here, and everything I hope might happen if I start writing in here again. Because five years ago, a lost little 17-year-old girl at the start of an exciting new adventure had a premonition: that she would always be a lost little girl, looking for reasons and connections and explanations about her life, and that she would need a blog like this to help her remember where she came from and guide where she was going. And she was right.

Seriously, though, it was a damn good sandwich.

Seriously, though, it was a damn good sandwich.

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Episode Sixty Eight – S’more from Megan, Finally!

Hello again, faithful and long-suffering readers.

Goodness gracious, I’ve been busy since leaving Strasbourg behind! As I mentioned, I’ve been training for this new job at Sandemans New Europe tours. They offer free tours (as well as paid ones) in lots of cities all over the continent, and when I got in touch and said I wanted to be a tips-only tour guide, they responded by offering me a stable job with a good hourly wage instead :) Continue reading

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Episode Sixty Six – First Days Stateside

It’s been a while since I’ve been in America, and even longer since I’ve been to Grant’s family home. Because of my world travels, he’s been visiting me in my various homes around the globe for the past year or so; first in Costa Rica last summer, then in Scotland at Christmas, and finally again in France in the spring. I spent about a week with him in Akron last October but never made it to his home town in that short time, so all told it’s been about fifteen months since I’ve been here.

This is what I’m looking at right now.

And things have changed since then! The family room has received a beautiful makeover and the gazebo’s been updated too; the first thing I noticed, though, was that Grant’s younger brother has moved into the other room in the basement where his sister used to live. Her absence was sorely missed that first evening when I went to take my shower and found that, in place of her usual array of products carrying such names as ‘Rose Garden’ and ‘Moonlight Whisper,’ I was offered only a single choice of shower gel: ‘Power Stick‘. Continue reading

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Episode Sixty Five – Faisons un pique-nique!

As my last few days in France float by, it’s fun to look back on some of the most fun days I’ve had here, with Grant by my side, holding my hand and taking all the pictures alternately :P The spring weather has been all over the place, but I’m pretty sure the longest stretch of non-stop beautiful sun was the week when Grant was here :)

The swans come out to bathe in the sun, all perfect and white.

Good weather is always – well, good. But it’s especially advantageous when you’re travelling on a budget, which as a long-distance couple we always are. Why is good weather our best friend? Because it means picnics instead of expensive lunches in cafés; it means wandering through the streets and admiring the buildings instead of museum entry fees; it means getting around on foot instead of buying tram tickets.

  Continue reading

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Episode Fifty – The Last Months Of My Life (Part 6)

Do you see how easy it was to suddenly bring my ‘Last Month Of My Life’ posts back into the realms of accurate titling? While I was happily parenthesising away and turning even my headlines into the grammatical equivalent of Ulysses – where else have you ever seen a title which contains a dash and TWO sets of brackets? – it turns out I could have just chucked an ‘s’ on at the end of ‘month’ and called it a day. Hindsight’s a bitch, as they say.

Shall I continue chatting about the syntax tree of today’s title, or would you rather I just got on wi- ok, ok! No need to shout, I’m getting to it!

Jeez. Continue reading

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Episode Sixteen – Ancient History 101

[FYI, these first few paragraphs were written quite some time ago, between my visits in October and December, as you’ll be able to tell from the confusing discrepancies in dates etc. I know – I was not made to be a blogger].

So I’m embarking upon my final journey home before Christmas, to wish my family season’s greetings and to relax a little before my exam on Tuesday. It’s been a long time since I’ve been home, and I’m anticipating luxurious relaxation, silver spoon service and generally a pleasant change of scenery. At the moment, I’m in Palmyra Pizza with a cup of coffee and a clean plate (which used to house a £3.20 hummus falafel, but I made short work of that), and waiting for my bus. I missed the one I intended to get but I’m actually happy with how it turned out – I was hungry, in need of a cup of coffee, and I could’ve done with some time to work on my blog anyway. Continue reading

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