Paris. Oh you have such a special place in my heart! I have fond memories from trips I have made to Paris before. However this time, was a new experience entirely.
I was travelling completely on my own.
I am really comfortable and familiar with travelling and didn’t really bat an eyelid when I was booking my trip to France on my own. But the reality was very different. I was heading to France last October to attend a photography workshop, The French Experience. As a photographer and business women, I think it is important to keep learning, pushing my comfort zones challenge myself. Well this trip was all this, rolled into one.
It wasn’t till a couple of days before hand I started to feel abit nervous.
I snapped out of it and just got on with it, was abit too late as the tickets were all booked, and I am a true believer of living outside of your comfort zone. I am more than happy with my own company, so was super excited to be heading off with my hand luggage, a couple of books, my journal, my camera and an open mind.
The start of my trip didn’t go quite to plan. Torrential rain, trees over the train tracks, delayed trains and arriving in Chalons en Champagne several hours late! Cue my anxiety, heightened by being in a country where hardly anyone spoke English (learning French is now one of my goals!) Stressed out was an understatement. Finally on my way on a completely different train, I was very grateful when I arrived at the Chateau to find a plate of cheese and meats, a glass of red wine and lots of friendly faces waiting for me.
So as my initial plans to have a couple of hour wandering around Paris on my first day didn’t quite go to plan, I told myself I would make sure I would give myself several hours in Paris before my flight home to London.
With little to no battery (whose iphone actually holds decent charge?) I wandered around. Exploring Paris wherever I fancied. Now one thing I loved was that travelling on my own, I could do what I wanted when I wanted. Didn’t have to ummm and urrrr with someone over where we would go for lunch, or what time we should make a move onto the next place. But one thing I did realise as I was wondering the streets with my headphones in and camera in hand, that I enjoy travelling with someone else. Someone to talk to and share the experience with, the views, joke about the funny tourists trying to pinch the top of the Eiffel Tower.
This being said, I am so pleased I put myself out of my comfort zone.
To some, this might seem like nothing, but for me it was a big step. I wandered Paris for several hours, without a map. Getting lost down the cobbled streets. Taking in the views, some of the culture, a crossiant and a coffee or two. Wandering with my headphones in and just enjoying being in the moment. It also made me realise, that when I am on holiday how much I am on my phone, It was so nice to wander without the distraction of facebook, my emails, scrolling through instagram.
Can’t wait to explore Paris again.
Beaucoup d’amour, Charlotte