France: Je Taime, Paris
After 2 years of wishing and saving money, I finally got to accomplish it.In November of 2015, I was finally getting on a plane for the first time to the continent which would show me live what so far I had learned in the History books. Destination Paris, Mademoiselle. Going back in time a bit… Going to Europe has always been one of my many dreams. But as a recently graduated, 24 year old, Brazilian, life seemed too expensive. Yes, it is true. Doesn’t matter how much you work in Brazil, life will always be really expensive. So that’s why I decided to leave. I came to Australia in October/2013, to see what else life had saved for me. And two years later, my departure to France started from Sydney. After 2 flights, 20 something hours and a lot of plane meals I arrived at Charles De Gaulle airport. It was grey, raining a little, full of people (speaking in a language I could not understand) and exciting. I had absolutely no idea how to get to where I was supposed to, and after a while of not travelling alone, it’s a bit scary to face it on your own. But oh, the satisfaction you get when you realise you can actually still do it. I mean honestly, I found my luggage and the train station all by myself and the help of “Excuse moi”, “ Pardon”, “Mercier”, “Si Vous Plait” and a little bit of mime. I know it’s common to hear that French are not really welcoming, but I had not problems whatsoever. Or at least I didn’t think I did because I couldn’t understand it anyways. But okay, off the airport and into the train. Oh Geez, hopefully getting the right one (because there are many lines that go through the airport).
- You never know when your internet will leave you high and dry
- You get to keep an awesome vintage souvenir after your trip is over
Good-to-know: you can find great meal deals. In most of the restaurants (if not all of them) there’s a “menu” choice, which comes with an entry, main and desert. In Champs-Elysées we spent around E$13 each for dinner (drinks not included). We stayed in a hostel with 12 other people, and though I do prefer the Airbnb I stayed after, sleeping in a room full of strangers is something a traveller must face at least once.
Turns out, you can see a lot of Paris in 24 hours, and it will still be fun (Hop on Hop Off highly recommended for a trip this short). But if you have a bit more time like I did, just listen to the musique de Paris. It’s everywhere!
And enjoy the little things.
Little things like the amazing musicians on the streets and on the metro. And do take the metro, it is a the fastest way to get where you want.
Buy the ten rides to save some cash and have a laugh finding them in every pocket you have even when you’re already home. Enjoy the bakeries (oh the bakeries!), the vintage shops, the food. Take a walk from the Place de la Bastille to the Notre Dame Cathedral, through the Seine river.
And please do enter the Cathedral, it’s free of charge. Go for drinks at the Roquette for an amazing Parisian night. Go to the Trocadero to get the best picture of the Eiffel Tower. Visit the Louvre, even if you don’t really care for art and history. Go to the Opera and have a picnic at the Jardin du Luxembourg and bring your camera at all times.
My cousin once said “No one should die before visiting Paris”. It’s one of those saying you’ll only get it once you’ve done it