I always think about Paris, about being there, but sometimes, I think when I am having stressful days at work, or whatever...I really long to be there more than other times.
I know others feel this way about Paris. For me, the first time I went there, I expected to have the typical tourist's experience, I was very excited. I actually planned the trip a bit last minute, I found myself with vacation time, and an abundance of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. The whole trip was free. I stayed at the Hilton at the base of the Eiffel Tower (literally).
I can't explain it any other way, except to say, it felt like home. It was strange and surprising to me. I felt this connection there...I never planned or thought about that happening. I am a pretty experienced traveler, but even so, I hopped on the subway there with an almost immediate ease, everything was perfect.
Before I left, everyone warned me about the rude Parisians--I never had that experience. Everyone, without exception, from waitstaff to museum staff to strangers I met and asked advice or directions from was lovely to me. One thing that I loved, and was constantly surprised by, was that other tourists kept coming up to me, thinking I was a local and asking for help or directions. It was hilarious to then see their faces when a southern accent popped out! It may have been just since I was traveling alone, I don't know, but it was funny to me even more since I felt so at home. I also had worried because I didn't and don't speak French, but it was never a concern. Everyone speaks English there, and contrary to warnings, no one was angry with me for not speaking French, or for mangling the French I attempted. I do want to learn French, taking a class is on my New Year's resolution list this year. (I am running out of time!)
I can remember so vividly walking the streets feeling as though I had been there before, always somehow. I can't explain. And no, I don't believe in any of that past lives stuff. There is just some connection there. I did make another trip that same year at Christmas, and wondered if it had been just a "first trip" thing. It was not. Christmas was just as magical as May had been.
So, anyway, I long to be there. I have posted a few of my favorite pictures from my trip. (This was back in 2000). I have included some more in the Slide on the right.
Someday...I hope my address reads "Paris, France".