1. Travel! With not knowing when the next time I'll be back to Europe and also having an unlimited Eurail Pass for 3 months, I wanted to see as much of Europe as possible. In total, I visited 12 countries and 22 cities. NEVER would have thought that was going to be possible before experiencing how easy it is to hop on a train and 3 hours later I'm in another country.
2. Paris is always full of surprises. Paris is not just a city of charming architecture, rich history, and beautiful culture. There are little things that would pop up in the middle of nowhere that would make me love the city that much more. Everything from walking over the Seine on my last night in Paris just trying to take in my last moments and seeing an engagement happen right on the Love Lock Bridge, to going to a jazz concert in a small cave bar with a few of my friends and it turning into one big swing dancing social with locals that couldn't speak a lick of English.
|I just loved walking around Paris. I would never be bored!|
3. It's a city of many dimensions. I cannot think of one thing that Paris is known for. It is the fashion capital of the world, home to the largest art collection in the world, home to some of the best chefs and the list goes on and on. This city has so much to offer, I was never bored.
4. To go along with number 3, there is an endless list of things to do in Paris, no matter what you're interested in. I was doing things I had never done in Paris before until my very last day in the city!
5. Outdoor markets! Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE fruits and veggies, and a lot of them. I looked forward to the weekends for when I would bring a big bag to a nearby "marché" and stalk up for the week. The fruits and veggies were always so much cheaper there than any of the grocery stores and I always felt more immersed in the culture because that was where I would interact with the most locals. My last week of going to the market on my street, the guy at the stand I always buy from finally asked me where I was from. I said I was from the United States and I was headed back later that week. They told me they were going to miss seeing me every week! Finally, French people sounding affectionate!
6. Shopping, duh. Whether you want the smaller boutiques in the Marais, or the more expensive shops on Avenue Montaigne, Paris has gotchya covered from head to toe. I'm not complaining about there being every shop you could ever want, but my bank account sure is. I really enjoyed going into the high-end shops like Hermés, Louis Vuitton, Chanel (the list goes on and on) and just people watching. I'm amazed and some of the sized shopping bags people walk out with! My favorite, though, were the small boutiques located in the Marais. I stumbled by this one, one day when I was just walking around, that was extremely unique. It was nothing I would buy for myself but I just had to go in and check it out. While I was looking around, I noticed the owner had a room full of fabrics and sewing machines in the back. She told me that she makes every single one of the pieces in the boutique, in the back of the store. It's shops that those that make Paris one of a kind!
7. Fashion...I mean it's Paris do need I say more? Everyday for school, I felt as if I was dressing up. Wearing jeans to class felt "casual". That is something that's entirely different from school in the US, I would never see anyone in workout clothes or yoga attire for that matter! I love fashion so it was really fun getting dressed up almost everyday. Sure, I'll pull out the Lululemon clothing a little more when I'm back at DU but I'll definitely try dressing up more for class.
I also really enjoyed writing for CollegeFashionista while abroad! I was the University of Denver Style Guru and I wrote for the "Fashion From Abroad" column that came out every Friday. You can check out all of my posts here on the CollegeFashionista website!
8. Hidden gems are everywhere. It takes a while to find the areas of Paris that aren't on every tourists list of "Things To-do in Paris" but 4 months is a good enough amount of time to find them if you're willing to put yourself out there. Like the "pay as you go" cafe in Marais and a free yoga class every Saturday at The American Church in Paris that one of my friends found. I also loved the FREE fashion show at Galeries Lafayette I went to right before going home! It's the little things that separated the time I spent in Paris from being a tourist, to living like a Parisian.
|The Galeries Lafayette fashion show!|
|Skating in front of the Eiffel Tower!|
10. Last but definitely not least...friends!! ! Being taken out of your comfort zone and put into an extremely different environment can make you pretty close to who to surrounding you. I was so lucky to meet so many people that loved to laugh at our experiences from abroad and who were always willing to try new things with me. I met new DU students that I didn't know before studying in Paris and also students on my program from all over the US. Not to mention, the numerous International students in all of my classes. Sometimes it was difficult because our only common language would be French.
Now that an unbelievable 4 months of traveling, eating, and playing in Europe has ended, it's time to get back to real life. Nothing is going to kick me back into reality like becoming the new President of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority back at DU, taking a full load of classes, and continuing to skate on the DU figure skating team. Paris definitely lived up to and exceeded my very high expectations. This was an amazing experience that is going to stay with me forever.
Paris, I will be back!