To Plan or Not to Plan?

Victor Baudrand
3 min readApr 1, 2021

Life update and sudden changes in COVID restrictions.

The main street in Voiron with a direct view on the Église Saint-Bruno de Voiron

I had not called my mother since my recent move from Paris. I will admit that for the first week in Voiron the idea of calling my mother didn’t pass through my mind too many times. The beautiful snow-covered mountains, the change in the climbing gym, and the pace of life made me forget a little about the important things. But I guess that is how it goes when life is fresh and exciting. My plan to only stay a small week in the Eastern French called Voiron quickly turned into three weeks.

I got on the phone with her one afternoon to check-in and that’s when I received a hefty load of thrilling news. The call began like always; we chatted about the family life and then preceded to get into more serious topics like COVID and possible restrictions. After the intro, that is when I received the big news. Out of the blue, my mother mentions that instead of returning to the US in June, as planned, I would actually be staying in France all summer until September before the beginning of University. She didn’t give me any warning before she spilled the news on me. The words simply just came out of her mouth like it was nothing. There was no real emotion behind the following sentence: “you are staying here until September.” It took me a solid minute for the news to make a connection with the neurons in my brain. After my pause, a great smile filled my face and I jumped with excitement. Luckily no one was near to witness my reaction. For me, this was extremely big news. Although I will my friends and graduation, my time in France has been extraordinary and I wouldn’t have it any other way. All the complexities of travel and change in plans have made for a completely different France trip. However, I have fallen in love with the everyday battle to attempt to meet my expectations and goals of my France trip. Not being able to make a solid plan two weeks in advance is what gives this trip its charm. There is comfort in knowing that you have time to accomplish objectives without urgent time constraints.

So what’s next…?

Honestly, that question is insoluble.

The initial plan in France was for me to do local competitions however with COVID they all got canceled. However, the future is bright because the main reason I am staying in France until September to compete on the Adult World Cups circuit for rope climbing which typically takes place during the summer in Europe. With competitions ahead, it is time to get back to precise and intense training. Recently I have had the opportunity to train with the French National team in a small town in Eastern France called Voiron. Although the little town doesn’t have much background with the history of French rock climbing, today it has become the mecca for almost all French competition climbers to train and get stronger. My goal is to find a place and settle in Voiron for a few months. There is so much positive energy towards training and climbing in the little town that I do not want to leave. As of now, I am taking it week by week, not trying too hard to stick to plans otherwise I sense that I will miss opportunities that pass by.

PS. As I am writing this blog post the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron announced that a national lockdown will take place starting in early April. Recently, talk of another possible lockdown has been circulating the news but it wasn’t announced until last night Wednesday, March 31. Mr. Macron said that the upcoming lockdown would not be as strict as France’s first major lockdown a year ago, but school and nonessential businesses will close across the country. Travel within the country will be limited unless you have valid documents to reasons for your travel.

Mr. Macron you are really testing me here. But there is no way I am going to let you ruin my France trip…Another reason why I have learned to not make too many major plans. As of now, I am really going to play it week by week because who knows where I will be next week. I’ll keep y’all updated.

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Victor Baudrand

I’m an 18-year-old from the US, currently living and traveling through France to pursue competitive rock climbing, and taste lots of delectable French pastries.