Have Car, Will Drive

I have been booking things left, right and centre for my upcoming trip and now really only have a couple of minor details to work out. I was eagerly awaiting this month’s payday so I could book the last couple of flights. That has now been done and every single flight I need is booked and paid for. I am flying with some airlines I have never heard of before, mainly in South America, and I will admit to being slightly nervous especially with what has happened to the Malaysian Airlines flight.

All I need to do now is book a bus ticket to get me from Concord, NH to Albany, NY and also my Eurail pass. The Eurail pass may need to wait until next month’s pay though (it does suck being paid once a month).

As for today’s subject title…my sister has booked us a car for a week to drive around the French countryside. This makes me excited and nervous. For one, we will be driving on the wrong side of the road. Now, we both have done it before however my one and only experience was eight years ago and my sister’s experience was twice that long (I do believe it was 1997 or 1998 when she last visited America). Also, in our past experiences we drove automatics. I’m normally a manual transmission type of girl but I was glad of the auto as I could concentrate on staying to the right and not worry about changing gears.

Not so with this car. This one is manual. This would normally not be an issue. I drive a manual car every day. Everyone in my family drives manual cars. My main issue will be with remembering I will need to be changing gears with the right hand and not the left. At least the pedals are all in the same position.

So for that week in the French countryside we will be playing it a bit by ear. The sister wants to go to Mont St Michel. I have been before but don’t mind going again. We will probably head to Normandy first, Mont St Michel and then across to the Loire Valley (which is what I want to see) before we head up to Paris. There will be a lot of driving (much to the niece’s disgust) but I think it will be a barrel of laughs.

We have to drop the car off in Paris. I think it will be a matter of drawing straws as to who is the lucky person to drive in the city. We both have experience in driving in our respective cities (Melbourne for me, Perth for her) but Paris is a lot bigger and a lot busier. It could be a very interesting experience.

All of this is still seven months away. I have seven months to psych myself up to driving on the wrong side of the road again.

Tell me – have you had experience driving on the wrong side of the road? How did you find it? Scary, exhilarating, easy? I’d love to hear any experiences.

For now it’s back to the travel guides to do research again until next payday.

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