I know that my perspective on Paris is not a very popular one. This is most likely because the average person can not live the posh, dreamed reality that many people view Paris to be. Visiting Paris is inspiring, especially in good company, but living in Paris is quite dreadful, or as dreadful as a rich, European city can be.
But I’m not here to talk about the bad (well, maybe a little bit). So instead, I will rely on my journal entries to tell the Paris story for me. I have been to Paris and back 4 times now, and every time is different. Hence, Paris, part one.
“Today I bought this journal because every day of this month has been unimaginable and I want to hold myself accountable on keeping track of my travels. Today, I made breakfast in bed and did the dishes after with 2 cups of instant coffee, something that I have had way too much of in Paris. I planned some of trip details afterwards, played video games, and then decided to venture out into the city. First, I went to my favorite Cuban bar for their happy hour. After a few Cuba Libre’s, I set out to do what I did best in Paris: picnics at the Eiffel Tower. I was staying within a 20 minute walk of the Tower, so I made sure that I made use of the proximity and Paris’ finest cheap wine.”
I also enjoyed many bike rides to the Tower. This was probably my favorite part of Paris. Download the Lime app, or if you don’t have service like me (big mistake – plan ahead of time, and don’t depend on Verizon’s international service to work in France), have a friend rent 2 bikes through Lime’s group rental feature. From there, you can take the bike virtually anywhere, except for in the zones where you can’t. That doesn’t mean you can’t get to your destination, as you can always go around the inactive zones, but if you do not plan in advance, you may end up walking the bike up steep hills with a heavy backpack at 4 AM (easy problems I have while traveling, something I will make a blog about on its own).
But seriously, I cannot rave enough about Lime. I loved it. Choose between electric scooters or semi-electric bicycles, and you are sure to have a great time. After my first few rides, I decided to set out on an adventure at 3 AM to venture on the bike. I got to see all the beautiful parts of Paris: the cafes, the Louvre, the architecture, all on wheels, and without crowds of people or roads packed with luxury cars. Just me and my Lime bike, enjoying the inspirational city that is Paris. Of course, if biking or electric-scootering doesn’t suit your fancy, you can opt for venturing through Paris on foot. Be diligent, as you should always be as a solo traveler (especially as a woman), but enjoy Paris at night. See the Tower sparkle while the rest of your surroundings are completely dark. Enjoy a bottle of 4 euro wine. If you’re going to go to Paris for a long stay, make sure to really enjoy it, because the tourist attractions will get tiring sooner than you think.
Now, not all of Paris was filled with chill days and picnics in the park. I am lucky enough to have many amazing friends in the city, who all have their own unique interests and paths. In the next “Paris Part”, I will introduce you to an entirely different side of Paris, one that you can enjoy with friends, one that will have you like this before lunchtime…