Paris: Years Later

This blog post will be a reflection looking back on how a single trip to Paris has still been something that stayed with me on a daily basis. A little more than two years after the initial trip, Paris has changed me forever as my first major trip abroad.

Paris, the city of love, and the city where small cafe's are everywhere you could ever want them to be, the streets are filled with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, yet filled even more with tourists exploring the city. Its a city where people go with their loved ones, and people go to see the monuments, and the artwork that helped to shape society. From the arc de triumph to the louvre and all of the art that fills it.

For myself, Paris was the first major trip abroad that stopped at one location. It was my first time in Europe, and my first time flying to a destination out of the country instead of exploring from the cruise ship. It may have been a one stop trip, but nonetheless, Paris can change your life.

Paris was a city where I walked everywhere, I took the tube, I ate from the small cafe's and enjoyed the amazing food that the city offered. I saw smiling faces, old buildings (buildings nerd here obviously) that had architecture that you would never see being constructed in the US these days. Everything made the city feel like home, yet I was over 6 hours by plane away. I was across an ocean, yet I was home. Maybe the sense of home came from just the feel of the city. The way it was busy, yet I was able to enjoy the time, and soak in the sights. The way a city was preparing to celebrate bastille day, and just how everything felt right.

Paris took my breath away, and made me realize how much more there is to the world than just the United States, and it put my life in perspective. The things that I thought made me happy became just things in my life, while experiencing new places became something that I wanted to do more than ever. Not only to explore a city for a week, but to eat the food, to try new foods, to eat where the locals do. Paris was a city where we tried to avoid any restaurant that had the menu in English, and a city where we looked at the paintings and art that I had only seen in history books or art classes taught in schools. I got to see, touch, and experience monuments that make the statues we put up in America look like they are toys made for children due to the size and detail that these monuments, churches, and buildings had in them.

It was refreshing not to see a McDonalds on every corner, well being from south of Boston, I should say a Dunkin Donuts on every corner. Instead there were small shops that made my hungry due to the smells as I walked by. Paris was the first place I had traveled too that had a history so much richer than that of the Boston area, or the east coast of the United States. I was walking where empires had roamed, world wars had been fought, and generations upon generations had built over the years. Where cities were more than 400 years old. 

There are times that I just sit at my computer and look at all of the photography and videos that I was able to capture while on this short journey on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and it transports me back to waling the streets, eating crepes, and looking at the marvelous structures that lined the streets. With exteriors that were from the history books, but interiors renovated to bring the buildings into the 21st century. Paris, I can't wait to see you again.