Aero: Emma (Reno) Bondi – France 2015 – Travel


Aero: Emma (Reno) Bondi – France 2015 – Travel
Creative Commons Image via The LEAF Project

Aero: Emma (Reno) Bondi – France 2015 – Travel


Reno Bondi

Ah, French airports. I really like French airports. The staff, for one, always looks polished and well put together. They were stationed to direct us to our designated line, look over our passports, and take our tickets. No further conversation ensued. The airport itself is a quiet and reserved atmosphere; the French aren’t ones to be loud and boisterous (unlike us Americans). Going through airport security and customs was relatively painless. The hoop jumping you have to do to get back into the States is both laughable and headache inducing. The French TSA has the older style scanners. I think they may actually be just metal detectors, whereas our American ones do a full body scan.

I didn’t get to experience the splendor of Charles de Gaulle airport until my last day in France. After we had checked our bags and went through security, we passed through an elegant duty-free, and into rich peoples land. The brand stores that are resident there are too expensive for me to even look at. My own hometown mall (shoutout to Eastview) is rather well-to-do, with names like Michael Kors and Coach. But an airport tops that with Hermes, Cartier, Gucci, Hugo Boss, and Armani. And that’s not even the full list. Who knew you needed to be that pampered as you wait for your plane.

I am a notoriously bad packer. I have been improving in micro increments each time, and we’re talking cataclysmically small. I took the advice of my professors and packed only what I needed. I think I managed a twenty-seven pound bag, unlike some of my peers with thirty-five pounds or more. In retrospect, I think I would have been happier with more pairs of socks and underwear, and probably could have skated by with only one pair of shoes. Didn’t end up using my guide books, though I brought them along just in case (because when you don’t bring it, then you actually need it). Did I need every single toiletry I brought? Arguably, no, but it’s always good to be prepared. I also should have opted for a winter coat and one light jacket, instead of two jackets and being on the chilly side for most of the trip. I had encountered France before during this season, and it was unexpectedly warm. I prepared more along those lines, which led me not to pack a hat or gloves. Though I managed, I managed with some form of lamenting anguish (to which I suffered the greatest during the Mont Saint Michel visit).


ML@FLCC France 2015 Flickr Photo Gallery

The last time I did that much walking was in basic, except that was in the middle of August and very much less pleasurable. How to get from here to there with the least amount of effort? Examine your terrain. You’re in a city center, check. Weather: winter breaking to spring; which means layers, pants, and anything else to cover up extremities. Sidenote: The French are really into scarves. Wearing sensible shoes is a must. Sure, you’re walking down the Champs Elysees and you feel an intense need to look incredibly fashionable. Resist the urge. Your feet will thank you later. Yes, you’ll stick out as a tourist, and as much as that sucks, it’s gonna be an unfortunate reality seeing as though you can’t pack your entire wardrobe. Most tours we took were walking tours. Did I mention there was a lot of walking?

If you don’t know how to travel, you will be in for a world of hurt. Unless you’re a hermit and don’t ever plan on going anywhere. Being able to pack, read maps, and maneuver yourself efficiently shows that you are resourceful, organized, determined, and focused. Those sound like job snagging skills to me!

Emma (Reno) Bondi
LEAF Contributor