French culture, french films, french cuisine. The people of France always manage to leave the rest of the world in a state of awe, and even a bit of envy, at their love for life. France’s own sordid history, which left the country reeling from decades of conflicts, has led to the establishment of the most iconic city in the world. Paris is now a popular destination for A-listers and backpackers alike, and is almost expected of people going on their honeymoon. I can’t help but smile when I think about wandering the streets of this cosmopolitan city.
RER B to Gare du Nord to Breguet Sabin. Walk to Rue de la Roquette…
Because we had no knowledge of the language, people kept giving us looks of confusion as we made very poor attempts to ask for directions in French. (We both grew up around Spanish-speaking communities, and we kept using the hard ‘R’ which must have made everything we said sound abysmal.) After several wrong turns, we finally made it to our very lovely apartment in one piece.
Alright, I lied-we stumbled and hiked our way through Paris. Steep stairs and cobblestone streets don’t make for easy walking. Here’s a tip: do your feet a favor and bring comfortable walking shoes to Paris. On our third day, we climbed 90 steps from the metro in Montmartre to the street…and then what seemed like 1000 more stairs to the Sacre Cour. On our last day, I stepped inside a public street toilet and almost got soaked because I didn’t know that it was self-cleaning. (Thank goodness for the passerby who pulled me out just in time.) By the end of each day, we were sore and sometimes cold from walking in the rain. No matter: I always ended the day with a big glass of wine and great conversation. (All of that walking and climbing made me feel much less guilty about my calorie intake.)
Reality of Travel
Travel is not about glamour for most people. Except for the occasional deal or for those who can afford to travel in luxury, most of us have to face the various logistics and headaches that come along with visiting someplace new. However, that can also be the exciting part. Getting lost can lead you down streets that are home to a city’s hidden gems. Food poisoning and getting sick on the road are necessary lessons for your next journey. And yes, even the wrong footwear can teach you how to prepare yourself for future excursions.
I created this blog to share my stories from the road, but also to send a message that will teach people how to expect the unexpected. I work in a high pace environment, and I’ve also visited several exciting places. After all of my experiences, I can confirm that those who learn to evolve are the one’s who have the best stories to share. Get messy when you travel. There’s no shame in screwing up when you visit a new place. In fact, it’s expected of you. Of course, there are certain precautions you should take, and I’ll get into what they are in future posts. However, there are moments when you have to sit back and laugh because those mishaps will make for great memories.