Monte Carlo’s well established reputation came long before Selena Gomez got mistaken for a princess. Some travellers on a budget would turn their noses up at a place known for homing yachts that belong to people with more money than time to spend it. But I didn’t go to resent people with a MUCH big travelling budget than I had, like all reasons for travelling, I went there to experience something new.
Monte Carlo is a whole lot of serenity compressed into a small space in Monaco.
Wearing my Tesco dress and sandals that were falling apart, my sister and I ventured from our night stay in Nice to Monaco via the train that cost a surprising 4 Euros.
(Nice is not only picturesque but the sea is blue. I’m not talking your average sunny destination blue. I’m talking Zac Efron’s eyes kind of blue.)
The means of getting around in Monaco was by foot unless you own a Rolls Royce and aside from being stung by a French wasp/ant hybrid, it was an experience I (cliched) never want to forget because it is the time my sister and I decided we actually really do like each other. That’s what travel does- unites you and your family as well as strangers.
I studied the streets and came to the conclusion that Monte Carlo is the new ‘boulevard of broken dreams’ in the best possible way. The visions you have walking down any street are where dreams are formed. You could be anyone here, win big at the casino or be mistaken for a princess (although that never happened to me… yet) We met people who were also being judged but would never judge back and bonded over our budget clothing and the beauty of the area surrounding us.
The things that make Monte Carlo are: the people, the attractions like yachts and the casino, and most importantly Monte Carlo is made by the people who admire the wealth and beauty of an area without resenting it for that reason. If you’re ever going there on a budget, you need to be that person.
There isn’t a distinctive moment to describe this time because the moment started at the airport and finished when I was back in my drive, reflecting on the the place that is not and will never be solely for the rich. It’s a place for the visionary and people who like to admire some place beautiful.