Incredibly, I was here in Paris one year ago for holiday with no idea that I would end up living here.
I had decided to return to Paris for a week’s vacation after the 800th request to do an apartment swap on homeexchange.com. I finally figured, pourquoi pas? I’d never been to Paris in the summer. I had no weddings or reunions or other travel obligations. Why not visit my favorite city in the world for a second time in one year?
Needless to say, it was an amazing trip. The city is definitely different in the summer, just as it’s different when you’re alone. I loved that it was light out until 10 o’clock. I was excited to discover new neighborhoods like Bercy and Canal Saint-Martin. I ate at Le Verre Volé and Le Comptoir du Relais. I got sucked into the sales and hooked on the Velibs. And then there were all those chocolatiers. It was a memorable trip indeed.
It’s funny now to come across some of the places that I visited last summer and see them with more of a local’s eye. It could be a café, a boutique or just a street corner, but suddenly, I’m remembering last summer and that delicious feeling that comes from traveling alone. It was hot. It was indulgent. I was free.
It just goes to show that a lot can happen in a year. You never know where life will take you. Although, with this whole experience and the benefits of hindsight, I will say that even if you don’t know, you sort of do. More and more, I’m thinking that we steer our own fate. We know on some level what we want and what makes us happy. Sometimes it’s attainable, sometimes it’s just unfeasible, but it’s always eye-opening, always nerve-wracking, always an adventure.