Who is Allyson Healey you may ask? Well if you’ve read Gayle Forman’s Just One Day then you probably know her but if you haven’t then I suggest you read it immediately and get to know her.
(And also if you haven’t read it, then perhaps you should stop reading as this post may contain spoilers…)
As you know, Allyson did quite a lot of travelling in this book. So as a person who loves travelling myself, I thought I’d make a list of travel tips gathered from Allyson’s travel style.
Do go on an organized summer trip to Europe with your best friend. You might end up meeting the love of your life and meeting nice people like Ms. Foley. Do break the rule on said trip (but stay safe!) so you get to see a random Shakespeare show (because who doesn’t like Shakespeare!).
When taking a train in Europe, go to the cafe car and be open to strangers, like maybe a cute guy who loves to eat bread and hagelslag and flirt about breakfast stuff.
Pretend to be someone else. Because you’re in a new country where no one knows you anyway.
“Yes, short for Louise. It’s my alter ego, Mel.”
Abandon your best friend for a day and go to Paris with the cute guy you just flirted with on the train. Then make sure the guy isn’t actually scamming you (he isn’t, he really is just a good guy).
Explore Paris with the cute guy. But first put your luggage in the basement of the club where your cute guy’s ex-girlfriend works in.
You have to surrender yourself to the chaos. To the accidents.
Make friend with the guy working at that club, he may come in handy (next year) and besides making friends (in Paris) is always a good idea. Just don’t take too long at that club, grab your cute guy (he may look like he’s flirting with the cute ex-girlfriend, but he really is not) and enjoy Paris already!
When the sun shines, you let it shine on you. Snow is always waiting.
Eat French food, like crêpes. I heard citron crêpe is delicious. While eating your delicious crêpe, talk with your cute guy. Here’s an opening question you can use: “Have you ever fallen in love?”. Yeah, you know just casual-while-eating-crêpe kind of conversation.
You have to fall in love to be in love, but falling in love isn’t the same as being in love.
Find a ride down the canals. If you can’t find one, hitchhike a boat. After that cycle around Paris and get lost by using the pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey strategy (a.k.a. pointing randomly on the Metro map). Très romantique!
But there are no postcards of this. Of life.
Spend the night with your cute guy. If he disappears in the morning then you might consider going back to your best friend (remember her?).
We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.
When going on an annual trip with your parents and your best friend and her family, convince them to do something different. Maybe go to a different tourist attraction or go to a random party by the beach. Be a rebel, even when you don’t enjoy your rebellious decision.
It’s totally OK to revisit a place you once loved. Even when your REAL reason for the revisit is to find your lost cute guy you met a year ago.
I’m looking for one specific needle in a needle factory.
Before you revisit, learn the language of that place. This might help you find him…I mean, enjoy the place better. Other than learning the language at a language school, also ask your friends who speak the language to help you. They may teach you things your language school doesn’t tell you, like how to swear and say “T’es toujours aussi salope?”.
Also, before going back to Paris (we’re just gonna assume your revisit destination is Paris), make sure you say goodbye to your new best friend. Hopefully he and his mum will give you a gift, hopefully that gift is a map with all the important metro stops and major streets marked. This may come in handy on your trip.
Be brave and get lost (with a map in hand, naturally we don’t want to be TOO lost).
C’est courageux d’aller dans l’inconnu.
Don’t be afraid to approach other people and make friends with them.
Remember that nice guy you met at the club? Go say hi to him!
Europe is a nice place to travel by train as each country is close to each other. Go visit a random country by train. Maybe a random country like Holland? I heard Utrecht is nice.
You will need to be brave.
If you’re looking for an old friend, why not give his flat a visit? If you can’t find him, perhaps you’ll find other friends who can help you find your long lost friend. Still a dead end? Why not go to Amsterdam? And why not go there by the most Dutch way of transportation: by bike, preferably a pink one.
Never say no to getting up at four in the morning to see an exclusive field of tulips with a local. And when that local says he’s going to see Shakespeare in Vondelpark, you really should tag along.
Forever and a day.
Always be brave when travelling. Don’t be afraid to say yes, because you never know who you will meet, who will help you, who will stain you. Travel will change you, but hopefully it will change you for the better.
Maybe this is just life. When you open yourself up to it. When you put yourself in the path of it. When you say yes.