Traveling has always excited me. I did not get to do much of it when I was younger, so I have tried my best as a young adult to go out and explore. This is my first solo trip so of course I want to take in as much as I can. I packed my bags and boarded my flight from New York City to France.
A couple of movies and phones games later, and I arrived in France. My layover was more than enough time to adventure through the city and see some of the major landmarks. I utilized Uber to get from the airport to Paris, but from there a large part of my trip was done on foot. My friend, Megan, who was studying abroad in Paris at the time, did not get out of class until 1 pm, and I was in the city by 10 am, so I had plenty of time to explore at my own pace. Although I had hoped to see some sort of celebrations taking place, since France had just won the World Cup, the team arrived back in the country the previous Monday, so I had just missed the parading.
During my solo-exploration I toured around outside of the Louvre, but was unable to go in, since they are closed on Tuesdays. I also got to visit the Fontaine Saint-Michel and the Notre Dame Cathedral. Of the many interesting and warming things about Paris is the laid-back culture. Living so close to NYC and seeing the constant hustle of the city that never sleeps, this was a welcomed change of pace, especially with jet lag beginning to hit and some exhaustion from the amount of walking.
Luckily, by the time Megan got out of class, I was only 2 blocks away from where she was.
We had not seen each other in about 3 weeks, which was a dramatically long time for us, since we are roommates during the school years. Seeing her was exciting, and I could not wait to see the city with her. We went directly to the Eiffel Tower, as it was her favorite sight. It was breathtakingly beautiful and exceeded my expectations. The area was filled with tourists and locals having picnics and taking pictures in the grass.
There was still so much time before I hadto leave the city, and we wanted to make the most of it. We took some time to eat at a cafe and catch up before we visited the Arc de Triomphe, De Champs Elysees and a Pablo Picasso museum. By the end of our journey, I was so exhausted, it seemed as though I had walked the whole city in one day. The exhaustion was worth it, because I had the opportunity to try a lot of the food. We went to an ice-cream shop, which was unreal. From there we crossed the street to a bakery, where I tried an eclair and a chocolate stuffed croissant, which made me never want to leave.
As excited as I was to go to South Africa, I found myself feeling a bit morose about leaving Paris. It was a beautiful city, filled with so much culture and stunning architecture. But it was time to get back to the airport and prepare myself mentally for another flight. So far everything had gone smoothly and I slept on and off for the full 10 hour flight until my arrival in South Africa.