What was I thinking? I was aboard a plane heading for France with no knowledge of the French language and no place to stay. I musta had guts! What I did have was the dream to become a chef, a caterer, anything food related and I figured going to culinary school would polish off my cooking skills and give me the credentials I needed.
Although I was a seasoned airplane traveler, I had never been on a nine-hour flight overseas. My trepidation diminished the minute I sat down – next to a priest! Feeling safe with no crashes in the forecast, I fell asleep for the entire flight. The minute I landed, my life as a free spirit and adventurer began.
From my journal I write, “Prices are outrageous. A tiny two bedroom flat is $600 a month plus utilities. Greg Usher, the director of La Varenne, the culinary school I would attend, found it. His friend who went to La Varenne lives here, Anna and her friend Arabella, so there’s three of us. The girls are really friendly – both English.” I shared a tiny bedroom, with fireplace, in a tiny flat in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. I was about to get the European education that would fire my passion for all things food. From my roomies, I learned how to eat goat cheese, appreciate champagne and negotiate politics with their British friends.
My life felt like a movie – classes all day, good company at night and weekend jaunts to wherever my Eurail pass would take me. Everything changed. The old me was gone. I was now a world traveler and true foodie and dubbed myself a Free Spirit.
To be continued….
Ciao for now,
Marie, Maria, Mary