Seven days ago Whit and I packed up all of our bags and traveled across the Atlantic to start our new life in Paris.
It has been exhausting, exhilarating, unbelievable, and everything in between.
On the first few days when we were SUPER jet-lagged, I reminded myself that I can feel a range of emotions in one day.
Even though I’m super tired and don’t have the energy to appreciate BEING IN FRANCE FOR THE FIRST TIME, I could notice the gray Parisian rooftops or how everyone around me is speaking real-life French, and find happiness in those little things. And even though I adore our tiny Parisian apartment and want to set it up immediately so it feels like home, I can also just go to bed because the thing I want to do most in the world is sleep. And so on.
I have talked to friends/family/acquaintances who have traveled here, read books, and looked at blogs, and the overwhelming opinion is that Paris is stunning. It’s different to experience a new city in real life as opposed to hearing about it (like when I saw New York City for the first time), because it feels so, well, down to earth, so I can’t say that it feels as charming as a literal dream or a Hollywood movie, but I can definitely see why people love this city.
Paris exudes charm. Like I said above – I could be SO TIRED and just want to sleep for 14 hours straight, but I look down and ALL the streets and sidewalks are made of cobblestone that’s, like, 800 years old. Or I’m focused on carrying loads of bags filled with all kinds of things to furnish our apartment, and I’m walking and tired and ready to be home, and then I look around and see gorgeously dressed French person after gorgeously dressed French person.
ALL of the streets and buildings are incredibly beautiful. They’re picturesque and just pretty for no reason. And then you walk down a random street and gasp because, suddenly, you have accidentally come across a breathing building or some really old majestic fountain. And you stop in your tracks to take it in for a moment, even though you’re on your way somewhere else, because HOW IS EVERYTHING IN THIS CITY SO MAGNIFICENT?!
Or you’re shopping in your regular old grocery store getting all the things you need, and trying to find the things on your list, but you’re in France so all the spices are ten times as fancy as they would be in America, but they cost the same. (Case in point: my 4 euro salt is “Fleur de Sel aux Herbes de Provence” aka sea salt with herbs from Provence.)
The most mind-blowing thing of all, of course, is the way that everyone here is just walking around speaking fluent, perfect, beautiful French in their native tongue. As a person who became enchanted with the French language when she was 4 years old, and to for the first time have it constantly gracing my ears, this is a dream come true.
Bienvenue a Paris!