There is something to be said about the way the French live. The thing I remember most about my trip (after the fairytale wedding and the ridiculous amounts of wine and cheese consumed) is the air about the French as they walk around. No, I don’t mean that silly stereotype about the French waving their noses in the air looking down on all the peasants around them. I mean the look of happiness and contentment on their faces as they aimlessly walk through lush green parks and cobblestone streets with little to no agenda.
As I have shared in previous posts, I have been on a happiness quest for the past year or so. Sounds easy, but when you get wrapped up in making all those around you happy, you tend to forget about the most important person: yourself! The thing I have found to be most helpful in making myself happy is taking pleasure in simple things more often than not. Gone are the days of obligatory social outings when all I want to do is cook myself a nice bowl of pasta and listen to Ella Fitzgerald on vinyl. Instead of spending the day at the bars drinking my Saturday away, I have no problem leaving my phone in my room while I plant flowers in the garden all day. A birthday party for someone you rarely see? How bout baking myself a cake, and eating it too. Yup, I went there. It’s all about taking care of yourself and giving yourself the freedom to choose. This is America right?
Well ironically, the American way of 40+ hour work weeks with little to no
pay appreciation reward vacation days is everything but a choice. So many of us graduate college with the idea that getting a stable job set up and jumping head first into the corporate grind is the only way to go. I am not exempt from this, I am as guilty as the rest of them. I had one day between my last semester and my first real job, and ever since I have dreamt of far away places and made millions of bucket lists. Going to Paris was a lifelong dream of mine, and allowing myself to leave work behind to fulfill this dream (for one of my best friend’s weddings no less!) was a proud moment for me.
I dreamed of what Paris would be like. I romanticized the idea of France like most young, naive, American adults do. But instead of being displeased with what I discovered, I have become even more enraptured with French culture. Did I gorge on three heavy fatty meals every day? Did I walk until my feet were bleeding and broken? Did I feel out of place being an American in Paris? NO NO & NO. I sipped on coffee and snacked on fresh bread and cheese until I splurged on one nice meal a day. I walked until I felt like sitting, and then sat a while soaking in the surroundings. I met amazing French people who welcomed me with open hearts that will be in my life forever.
I am confident that this trip was only a small preview of my time in Paris during my life. I know 100% that I will be back for more very soon, and luckily for me, I am the type of American girl that the French love. One who has no fuck’s to give, who shamelessly speaks shoddy French even around the ones that speak perfect English, and who is in her element even when she is out of her element. I am including a small sample of my overwhelming amount of photos (I treated myself to a fresh set of camera gear for this trip, whoops!) below, but will post them all on my photography site. If you haven’t looked at it yet, you probably should now that I am packing heat and have a ton of new material going up.
I hope you enjoy the pics and some of them inspire you to seek out your dream destinations! You only live once, so you might as well stop waiting for an excuse and just GO already.