I love traveling. I love seeing new places in the world and experiencing new cultures. Typcially, I will return from a trip reeling with a new little gem to apply to my life, a new perspective or approach. Now that we are back home from our week in Paris, and I am settling back into the UK I am finding myself reflecting on my first Paris experience. And of course, I have a few life “ah-ha” moments that I can’t wait to share with you all.
1. Europe is on our doorstep: This is the first holiday we have taken outside of the UK since I have moved here. Our flight from Manchester to Paris took (get this) just 1 hour. I had a plan of watching Les Miserables on my tablet but that didn’t happen. I mean, one hour! I knew that Europe was at our doorstep, but taking such a quick and easy flight to an amazing city makes me excited for our adventures. (Being 1 hour flight from Paris is a major bonus to being an expat!)
2. Sometimes You Order Two Soups: I don’t speak French and neither does Neal. This made it very interesting when we were trying to make our way through an all French menu, which happened to us on many occasions. (A girl has got to eat after all.) The apartment we stayed in was a hub of wonderful Asian restaurants (many of which had photos, which helped). However, on one occasion I ordered two soups. Whelp, so there you have it. Two soups for dinner. That’s when you smile, take a picture and a get a bit of a chuckle out of it.
3. Shit Sometimes Hits the Fan: No matter how hard I tried, things sometimes just were not perfect. On the third day of our trip, Neal and I decided to venture back to Notre Dame Cathedral for a baguette lunch as we had the other day. The sun was shining, I was munching on a lovely sandwich (with a Nutella crepe to follow) and then all of a sudden a bird pooped on me. In Paris!?! I know that this never, ever happened to Audrey Hepburn. But what do you do? Shrug it off (pass on taking a pic, because who wants to see that?) and move along with your day. And when you lose your metro pass less than 1 hour later, or are nearly pick pocketed you keep plugging along. (Did I mention that I was battling a head cold for the whole trip?)
4. Having a Rockin’ Travel Buddy: Past getting past the mistakes (like ordering two soups) or having a bird poop on you, comes back to who you are traveling with. Our Paris trip together was the first time Neal and I traveled to a new place, and I was slightly nervous that we would bicker or have a meltdown. Thankfully, none of that happened. Instead I discovered that Neal is an excellent travel buddy. First off, he is really tall allowing him to scan over crowds and making him tough to lose. (Unless you are in the Louvre of course. Yeah, that happened. Read about it here.) Kidding aside, Neal has a laid back personality that matches my Type-A crazy mode super well. Neal is a problem solver, he loved figuring out GPS and metro lines, which I loved. Having a travel buddy that rolls with the punches makes a trip a million times more fun.
5. Get My Butt in Shape: By the end of our first day in Paris, I was wiped. We had walked all around the city and my feet were pissed off at me. I was aching and exhausted. (And so was Neal) This is all because, until that moment, I could pretend that I am not as out of shape as I am. But let’s face it, for a lover of travel, this is unacceptable. I don’t want to pass on an amazing travel moment because I am too tired or not up for it. No way, no how. I want to climb towers of churches, walk castle walls, explore foreign cities all without thinking if I can make it or not. I left Paris resolved to take another look at fitness with the goal of being in better shape to be a happier traveler. Now that is a goal that I can visualize.
So there you have it, my five “ah-ha” travel and life moments that I gained from our six days in the magical city of Paris.
And before I leave you, I want to share with you one of my favorite snap shots from the past week in Paris:
The cherry blooms were just blooming, and I was able spy a very lovely Eiffel Tower!