My last day in Paris was so filling. You know those moments that just seem so surreal? Almost too good to be true? That was my last day in Paris. My flight attendant friend from Chicago, Staciemarie, joined us for the day and we picnicked under the Eiffel. We danced and we laughed and we lived full. It was such a breath of fresh air. I'm living in the midst of a season of heartache and trial and one thing my last day in Paris taught me was embracing the beauty that life so freely gives to us. Loss can be so painful, in whatever ways we experience it. Yet beauty grows out of brokenness if we allow it to. Life allows so many beautiful things to step into our life if we embrace them head on. For me, traveling has been such a healing thing for my heart. Because it screams beauty. From strangers and their stories, all the nooks and crannies my heart falls in love with, culture, history, the feeling of newness. It's all so beautiful. It's all so freeing. And that's what this blog is dedicated to my friends. A travelin' lady. I pray that through my travels and my trials, the pain and the joy, that you would find hope and courage in my words and through my images. Because it's out there. It is.
You have to go to here for your macaroons! It's a must.
From the crepé making boys. They helped us learn how to say your welcome. They wrote it on the back of our receipt. This was one of my favorite moments. P.s. The rumor that Parisians don't like Americans is so not true. Everyone that helped us were so nice and kind and curious. So don't be scared to ask dumb questions!
Many of you guys have asked where to stay and what to do and how we did it all. Here are my top things I have to say.
Hostel: the hostel we stayed at was called Arty Paris. The website is (www.artyparis.fr) seriously y'all it was the best. The people were so kind and helpful. The breakfast was FREE and so so good too! It was about $20 a night. So worth it and so adorable. It was super easy to find from the airport and you can take public transportation to get right to it.
If you're considering a hostel in Paris, or really anywhere, my advice to you would be to get one a little further away from all the main things you want to see and do. The tourist areas should I say. We stayed about 30 minutes away from all of the main attractions and we were so thankful for that. You really get to experience culture and avoid all the tourists. We were there for an adventure and the cute small town we stayed in was so refreshing.
Also some other advice I have for you (and I think I already said this once earlier) was to knock out all of the tourist stops in the first two days. My best memories and moments were the ones we created without an agenda or plan. We just explored all over towns. Traveling feels more memorable that way. Don't get me wrong, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, and all the other top spots were incredible. I just love finding my own spots and places. Me and Bryce definitely did that.
Here's a list of small things we figured out while exploring and through trial and error. I hope they make you laugh as much as they did for us.
• DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE ASK FOR WATER. You must ask for tap water or else you will be charged 4 euros for a bottle. Even if the waiter is cute and you think they are being nice. Don't fall for it.
• get Google maps and make sure you get directions before you leave and don't have wifi. Just make sure.
• bring a bottle of water that you can refill. Parisians don't play with their bottled water prices. You will also consume an embarrassing amount of bread so you have to stay hydrated. Please drink water.
• if you go to Paris you have to picnic under the Eiffel. It's a must.
• be okay with paying too much for macaroons. They are beyond worth it.
• when booking a room for the night, PLEASE OH PLEASE DOUBLE AND TRIPLE AND QUADRUPLE CHECK YOU BOOKED THE ROOM FOR THE RIGHT MONTH. And please remember that March is not in the same month as April. I know that it's pretty obvious but sometimes it's confusing.
• promise me you will go to Shakespeare & Company. It was one of my favorite places throughout the whole trip. It's the cutest little bookstore.
• if you are picking a travel buddy please make sure you pick wisely. Bryce was a ball of laughter. Seriously. I couldn't have picked a better person to travel with. Make sure they will laugh at all your funny jokes (even if they are not actually funny), be okay with getting lost, and having no agenda. If you have someone who gets stressed or angry when things go wrong it's gonna bring you down too. Choose the best.
• set up a budget with how much you want to spend each day on food and whatnot. It helps you keep up how much you are spending and also won't kill your bank account.
• under no circumstance let anyone help you buying train tickets. You will get scammed. I promise you.
Paris was a dreamland. I hope you guys all get to go one day. It's so worth it. I can not wait to explore more of Europe. Next up for a travelin' lady: Hawaii!