This year, I decided to cross something off my bucket list and take a solo European vacation. The idea of challenging myself to travel that far alone and at the same time to have the freedom to do what I wanted to do when I wanted, seemed like a welcomed task to take on.
To be frank, I was a little nervous. I went to NYC first to cut my travel time down by 5 hrs. I spent some time with some friends, then took off to Paris, for the first leg of my European adventure. I arrived in Paris, only to find out that the car I had ordered online wasn’t there and my hotel room had been cancelled. I eventually made it to the hotel, where I begged Sefak (pronounced “Say-f*ck)- no joke, to give me a room. He was a sweetheart and knew I was traveling alone, so he helped me out. It was too early to check in (I had taken the red-eye) and I was deliriously tired. I was so high from being in Paris, that the adrenaline kicked in and swept me to the Champ Elysees.
It’s the most beautiful street I’ve ever seen in my life. So grand and opulent, I fell in love at first sight with Paris like I knew I would. My friends had warned me that Paris is a romantic city and that I shouldn’t go alone but I was okay with the city itself being my weekend boyfriend. I could do much worse! I continued until I saw the Seine and like the water baby that I am, it drew my right up to the bridge. A walking bridge with giant statues was right there before me, so I wandered onto it, looking straight up and right into a scene on a TV show– literally. As I started to come out of my jet-lag haze, I saw a beautiful woman in a dress and heels, staring at me. Then a man, wearing a steady-cam rig turned around and threw his hands up. “What the f*ck, McCullough.” I looked around and realized that the woman in the dress was Piper Perabo and the guy yelling my name on the bridge was my friend Stephen Kay. I had walked right into their scene and the entire crew of Covert Affairs was like… “Oh, god is she a fan? Is she stalking us?” A year ago, I had shadowed Stephen on the show and had spent 2 weeks with the crew. Before I could realize exactly what was going on, the DP, producer and Stephen hugged me. The 1rst AD began to get frustrated (I had stopped their take by walking into the scene ) and told them they needed to keep going. I waved goodbye and kept wandering.
What a trip. I hadn’t even been in Paris an hour and I had run into an entire TV crew of people I know. An hour later, I brushed Natalie Portman’s shoulder walking down the street and that’s pretty much how my trip went from there. A series of magical moments and experiences that even though I was alone, I was reminded of what a small world it really is.