Travel

So many places to go, and so little time.

My mother said I wouldn’t like Paris

When I was a little girl my mother vividly told me of her time in Paris-a city that, in her opinion seemed more like a chaotic nightmare than the romantic haven others have portrayed.

She despised the crowds, the bustling streets, and the determined taxi drivers, pushing passed traffic by driving on the sidewalks.

She often told me  I would not like Paris.

 

Her warnings were noted, but the pull of the “city of LIghts” persisted, fueled by historical tales of Louis XIV transforming Paris into the radiant metropolis we know today.

The dream of witnessing the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and other iconic landmarks was stronger than any warning she could deliver.

Fast forward to many moons later, in the early days of the pandemic. My husband and I decided to move to France. We had been talking about it for years, and if were weren’t going to do it now then we would never do it. 

Job opportunities were predominantly in Paris. But, despite my reservations, I accepted a job in the City of Lights, kicking off our journey to the city that brought both excitement and trepidation. 

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paris

Paris-a world apart

Surprisingly, arriving during the pandemic relieved us of the tourism, allowing us to savor the city. Though I still regret missing the Louvre!

We embraced teh chance to explore the wonders of Paris, attending mass at Sacré-Cœur, and even paying respects at Napoleon’s tomb in Les Invalides.

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As a self-proclaimed history enthusiast, my time in Paris unfolded like a magical story. Walking the streets, mastering the train lines, and discovering quaint shops and bakeries became routine.

 

Yet, as time went on, I was feeling suffocated in Paris.

 

Despite my temporary disenchantment, living in Paris did have a silver lining-solitude. The absence of crowds allowed me to truly connect with the city, beyond the Eiffel Tower.

Unrestricted wandering became a privilege, enabling me to delve into the heart of Paris, and see beyond the sterotypes.

Lesser known Paris

Often seen as the cliché romantic destination, Paris conceals a depth that is much more than its charm. Beyond the tourist-heavy landmarks, the city oozes charm and inspiring culture.

Venturing into different arrondissements, felt like traveling to different worlds.

In each of these different worlds, I witnessed the genuine Paris-the one with a rich history, medieval architecture, and hidden fortress.

Stories of citizens packing handguns, creating a picture of the Wild West right in the heart of one of Paris’ most fashionable arrondissements.

 

While my relationship with Paris might be strained at the moment, I do acknowledge the unique spirit of Paris.

My advice?

Experience Paris authentically-go off the beaten path, explore the hidden gems. and immerse yourself in the true spirit of the city.

Sometimes, it takes straying from the clichés to discover the genuine spirt of Paris.

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Hi, I’m Christina

I’m the coffee-addicted creative behind Christina Q. Writes. As a full-time freelance writer and lover of history, I share insights into my crazy wonderful life.  Christina Q. Writes is where I share tips and advice making your own path, and doing it your way. Don’t be afraid to laugh at my mistakes!