Admittedly, I’m a planner, but despite being a planner, I can certainly go with the flow. However, when I’m traveling internationally, the one thing I plan and want to know, more than where the tourist attractions are, is where I’m going to eat. I want to eat as much of the regional cuisine as possible. The stuff I can’t get at home.
When I planned my trip to Paris, the only thing I “expected” was having a petit-déjeuner everyday. All right, everyday is a bit much, but at least a few times. I was in Paris for five days, so it isn’t unreasonable or impossible, right? It was a lot harder than I thought.
Everyday we were in Paris, our day was jam-packed with activities. We really didn’t have time for a sit down meal. We opted for stopping at the local patisseries, grabbing something to go, then walking and eating while we made our way to wherever it was we were going that day. We hit the ground by 9:00 a.m. and didn’t return until 9:oo or 10:00 that evening.
For the first time in my adult traveling life, I let food go so I could be wherever it was I found myself that day. And although I felt pangs of anxiety that I wasn’t getting a proper petit-déjeuner like I learned in school (a choice of beverage: hot chocolate, orange juice, tea or coffee; pastries; baguette; butter; and jam), it was a small sacrifice for everything else I would realize about Paris.
Paris is a place where the dead and the living intermingle, one just as important as the other. It is where magic and reality converge and mythical beasts occupy the same space as lions. It is where street art mingles with the modern and the classics. It is where loving and living cannot be stopped.
I thought I was coming to Paris to say goodbye, because I was ready for something else, but I was wrong.
Paris, je t’aime. Always and forever.