Would you ever hop on a plane for a big event, one you strongly feel you can’t miss?
I have, on two occasions.
The first time was right after I’d permanently moved to France as an expat. I’d just settled in a nice flat in Clermont-Ferrand with my husband and I was busy planning weekend trips for the upcoming summer when the Osheaga Festival lineup was announced… with, of course, my favourite band — the Arctic Monkeys — as the headliner and several other performers I did not want to miss, such as Lorde, Foster the People, Haim, Outkast and Lykke Li. The only problem is the music festival takes place in my hometown of Montreal, which, as you know, I had just left for another continent. But anyone who knows me personally is well aware that I will go to great lengths, in this case quite literally, to hear Alex Turner’s smoky, husky voice serenade me. I called my Montreal-based best friend in the wee hours of the morning and excitedly told her that 1, I would be crashing at her place for a few days thankyouverymuch, and 2, we were going to an epic show together, against all odds. What a blast we had! I could not have been happier to be within hearing distance of my all-time favourite band and to have shared that special moment with her. And as you do in Montreal, we topped it all off by having late-night poutine after the festival was over. Several years later, this is still one of my favourite memories and it undoubtedly was worth every single penny.
More recently, I travelled to Japan (literally halfway across the world from where I live, so it wasn’t a wise decision by any means at the time) just to see the famous cherry blossoms, which are only worthwhile a few days out of the whole year and can be notoriously difficult to predict. There are no guarantees as to how plentiful the cherry trees will be or even when they will actually bloom. And to add fuel to the proverbial fire, I had just signed on a very expensive mortgage the night before I received an email blast alerting me to the cheapest fares I’d ever seen for Tokyo. Nevertheless, I refused to think twice about it as I knew an opportunity such as this one wasn’t likely to present itself again anytime soon. I impulsively booked a ticket because I knew this was something I wanted to tick off my bucket list — and as you can imagine, I have zero regrets. In addition to discovering a new-to-me country that I am now obsessed with, the blossoms turned out to be rather spectacular that year.
There is a point to those two stories; i.e., you should never hesitate to travel, however imprudent or seemingly unwise it might be. Travel is a gift you should not refrain from granting yourself. If it feels right, it probably is — you just might end up having the time of your life!
I’ve partnered with Rail Europe and Thalys to grant one of my readers the chance to fly to Europe for the World Ice Hockey Championships, which is happening in both Paris and Cologne in May and is men ice hockey’s highest profile annual international tournament organised by the International Ice Hockey Federation (terms and conditions below). The tournament will welcome 16 teams from all over the world including Canada, so you can probably guess which team I’ll be rooting for — these boys have already won the title 26 times since the even was first held in the 1920 Olympics so I’m not worried about them taking it away once more.
*waves Canadian flag vigorously even though I know nothing about ice hockey or any other form of hockey for that matter*
A few precisions: the giveaway includes not just two first-class train tickets between Paris and Cologne but also two flights and accommodation for six nights and, of course, two tickets to the championships. Even if you don’t win the giveaway, you can still join the fun and get $25 off your train tickets.
Terms and conditions apply:
- Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only (excluding Quebec) and includes two roundtrip economy flights from Canada to Paris; six nights’ hotel stay at 3* hotels (three nights Paris, three nights Cologne); two first-class tickets on Thalys trains between Paris and Cologne and two tickets to the World Hockey Championships in Paris and Cologne.
- The promo code THALYSMARIE is valid for $25 off Rail Europe bookings of Thalys tickets, with a minimum booking amount of $100 for both US and Canadian residents. It can only be used on Rail Europe’s site. The promo code is valid for applicable bookings made from March 7, 2017 through 5:00pm ET on April 6, 2017. Offer is subject to availability and subject to change or extension without notice. No adjustments can be made on prior purchases. Promotional fares are non-exchangeable and non-refundable. This promo code cannot be combined with any other promo code on Rail Europe’s website.
Good luck to all of you hockey fans and safe travels!