As I have been scrolling about IG I have seen so many bloggers posting about Paris and it kind of comes across to me as a trip that is used as a status symbol and while I can understand why someone would be estatic to be there, I wonder sometimes if people value cities for the emotions they bring up in you? I love the fun of Paris and the cute photos of it, don’t get me wrong but a more substantial thing for me lies in Paris. The City of Lights changed my life and taught me about who I was as a woman. So let me tell you a quick story about determination, and trying to let go.
About 6 years ago, a friend of mine asked me to go with her on a cruise in Europe. It was leaving from Spain and she was going home right after the cruise. I had never been to Europe before and I was determined to see as much of it as I could before I came home, so I extended my trip to include London and Paris. I was going to explore these cities alone. Keep in mind…I had never really traveled alone at that point! I really didn’t care. I was not going to be that close to these cities I had dreamed of and not go! So I booked a flight from Barcelona to London and found myself on a train going straight into Paris.
When I landed there, Paris reminded me of a movie that never ended. I had never seen a city so spectacular. The taxi driver that was taking me to my hotel could see I was so excited and said to Me: “Mon Ami, Welcome to Paris!” just as the Eiffel Tower came into view. I screamed! I felt like I was the star of the best movie ever. I went to my hotel and couldn’t believe the beauty I saw. It was perfect for a young woman venturing into Paris for the first time (it was called 7 Eiffel btw). As soon as I could I asked the front desk where the Eiffel tower was and I literally ran there.
As I sat there waiting for a friend of a friend to show me around the city I watched the people & how engaged they were with their friends when they were at bistros. They were so engrossed in conversation with each other and no one looked at their phones. I loved that. When my friend showed up we rode bikes around the city. Now keep in mind, I had not been on a bike since I was probably 10 years old. I was determined to try and I failed miserably. Interesting note, even if you speak no French, when someone yells at you to get out of the way, you know what they are saying. The tone is international. While I hated it, it gave me memories I will never ever forget and some pretty awesome pictures.
My trip pretty much continued like that, me trying things that were way out of my comfort zone and then a new memory was made. Now, why did this change me?
Paris changed me because my experience there cemented my belief in myself. I could do anything, even if I had to do it alone. I did not believe that before that trip, I wasted many years waiting for friends to go with me to experience my own life! Paris taught me that I could try and fail at things and that is ok and allowing that can bring me lots of memories and funny stories if nothing else. The tail of the girl in long flowy linen pants and scarves, with the bike with brakes that don’t work in Paris, kills at a party…trust me. While Paris feels better than any movie for me, it also seared into my brain that anything that I dreamed could come true! I feel like a creative when I am there (I like to think of myself as an analytical creative which is such a contradiction, lol) I feel more in Paris, because I lower my defenses when I am there, and appreciate more because it feels like a dream that you can live each moment of to the full. And huge plus, Paris is gorgeous! Who are we kidding…
I think you can choose to feel like I felt absolutely anywhere, but for me, Paris made a huge connection to my head and my heart and I have only been there a couple times. I really want to harness some of those feelings and learn to feel that way no matter where I am. Until I do, I will always treasure Paris. The place where I feel I am my best self. J’adore Paris.
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