What can I say about Paris? I’ve dreamed about the city and the French culture for as long as I can remember. I romanticized it in my head over and over again. I thought for sure I would be proposed to on the Eiffel Tower. I thought I would surely live there one day. What I found in my short three and a half day visit was that it is beautiful and indeed rich with history and culture but I definitely over-romanticized it all these years. It was hard getting around at first, especially not knowing the language fully. I picked up the metro system pretty quickly and fell in line with the pace of the city but since I was jam packing my days full of sightseeing and walking, I came back to my Airbnb each night completely exhausted. I tried hard to take in moments and just enjoy time but since I can have Type A, over-planning tendencies, I was mostly thinking about my next stop. I bought the three-day Paris Pass that includes entry to lots of attractions, a two-day museum pass and a one-day Big Bus tour pass so with that I saw the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, climbed the steps up to Sacre Coeur, went into Notre Dame, toured Cryptologie, shopped cute boutiques and flower markets, sat at cafes, ate a perfect pain au chocolat and drank a beautiful mochaccino every day. I toured the Lourve, Musee d’Orsay, Musee l’Orangerie, the Tuileries Gardens, saw the love locks on the Ponts des Arts bridge and had a rude dude demand money from me for taking his photo.
Overall, I had a wonderful time. I learned a lot of great lessons about myself. I found that I have it in me to do whatever I desire. I wanted to finally travel internationally. I wanted my first trip out of the country to be France. And I did it. I went out and got my passport. I bought my ticket. I planned…and planned, and planned. I bought travel accessories, new luggage, packed meticulously and I made it happen. All by myself. Well, not all by myself. I had a lot of planning help, inspiration and advice from my new travel journalist friend, Erick, who made things way easier for me. I have a ton of pictures and videos, below, that I’m very proud of and represent some really beautiful memories for me. I will always treasure this experience as my introduction into a true traveling lifestyle.