About a month ago I hoped on a plane by myself and took a solo trip to Paris. I have to pause and smile to myself after writing that because it just doesn’t quite feel real. I knew that I wanted to do a solo trip after being in Europe for a few weeks. Solo travel is something I do pretty often in the states. I have no problem being alone, and exploring places on my own terms. However, traveling to Paris is a little different than traveling to Cleveland, Chicago or even Kansas City. Something I wanted to focus on this semester was intentional growth, and what better way to learn and stretch yourself than by flying to France. I started planning around the middle of October. I didn’t want this to be a trip that was thrown together last minute, plus booking so early I was able to snag a round trip flight for around $80. My Airbnb was a two-minute walk from the Eiffel tower in a safe apartment complex. Now I’d be lying if I said that my parents were thrilled that I was traveling to Paris alone. I feel like I do a lot of things that make them nervous/worried, especially when it comes to my traveling. (sorry)
The first night I arrived I went to the Eiffel tower. That line was long and it was cold BUT I was going to go up there no matter what. I got in line around 4:30ish and finished the whole experience around 7:30. I went all the way to the windy top where I facetimed my family. After the Eiffel tower I found myself a nice restaurant, and had a table for one. I think eating alone is what keeps most people from traveling alone. My table was facing a large mirror, so I spent my dinner looking at myself. Because I knew that I wanted to focus on the present and intension growth, I tried to stay off my phone and sit with my thoughts.
I was scheduled to take some professional photos the next morning. And the photographer cancelled on my 45 minutes before the shoot. And then the second photographer cancelled on me. FINALLY, I found a photographer that could take my photos, and the only time that worked was 7:30 am the next morning. To be honest this was really upsetting especially because I had planned my whole day around this shoot, but I said I wanted to be stretched. That afternoon I took a tour of Paris is a motorcycle side car. That was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever done. I also got to see the Mona Lisa and other must sees around the city. I had another table for one dinner.
I am thankful that I set this time for myself. One of my core values is to live with intention. During this trip I was doing just that. Here are a few things I learned:
1. Take the photos (even if it takes 3 photographers)
2. Book the cool experience
3. Strangers can be soo helpful (thank you to the random woman in the subway)
4. Don’t wait for someone else to do and see the things
5. I am capable