Hey Hi Hello!
As you may have noticed, I didn’t post anything on my blog last week. This was because I was having the time of my life in Paris! I had never been abroad and this was only the second time I had ever used my passport, so the experience was one I will remember forever. Now that I have started to travel, I have 100% been bitten by the travel bug and can’t wait to start planning my next trip. To celebrate all that is Paris, and to try and forget that I’m home and back in the real world already, I’m going to share with you what I learned about traveling, debunk a few stereotypes, and help you prep for your next trip.
- Street smarts are smart everywhere
- As I prepared for this trip I had everyone and their mother stop to tell me to beware of gypsies and pickpockets in Paris. I appreciate the concern and the warning, but let’s be real, no matter where you go, especially if you are spending time in a largely tourist populated area, there will be pickpockets. Keep your purse zipped and close to you. Make sure you know where you are going, and if you need to figure out where to go next, step out of the way to look at a map or ask. If you look lost you become a target. You would never walk around Time Square with your purse half open while you are gawking at buildings would you? Nope. We are smarter than that. So why would you do it in Paris? Street smarts are important no matter where you are. Be aware of your surroundings and have a travel buddy and you will be just fine.
- If you are nice to people, they will be nice to you
- A stereotype that I heard constantly before leaving was that “French people are rude”. I always thought that was interesting and overarching, but I went into France with a cautious attitude. Turns out, if you are nice to people, they are nice to you back! (Sounds silly, but still worth mentioning). If you are kind to the people around you, they are much more willing to help you out. If you ask someone nicely for directions, guess what? You got some great directions and a recommendation for where to go for lunch. It just goes to show that a little kindness goes a long way. As someone traveling for vacation, we also need to remember, everyone else in that area lives there! They work, eat, sleep, hangout, exercise, and live their lives where we are spending our free time. So if you are standing in the middle of the street walking in circles because you are lost and you are holding up morning commute traffic, no one will be happy with you. Again to the “beware of your surroundings” point.
- A good pair of walking shoes is all you need
- I truly believe that the best way to experience a new place is to see as much of it as you can. And what is the best way to do that? By walking everywhere! Thank goodness sneakers are trendy because they made getting around Paris so easy. I have a trusty pair of white converse that I love and wear all the time, but if you are looking for something more supportive, the chunky white sneaker is trendy and their are so many options that will not only make you look good, but will do wonders for your feet when you are sight seeing all day.
- Cheap flights exist, make it happen
- One of the biggest reasons that I have never really travelled was because I thought I couldn’t afford it. And to some extent that was true, but I’ve been doing my best to stop making excuses and to try as hard as I can to make new experiences through travel. There really is nothing like learning about people who are different than you, while actually being where they live. I took XL Airways to and From New York and Paris. This is specialty airline that only has one route, New York to Paris, and has cheaper ticket because of it! I had no problems booking my flight, checking in, checking my bags, during the flight, or getting through security and customs. Those cheap airlines still get you to the places you want to go, and as long as you are flexible, they are more than worth it if it means getting you to a new destination for less.
- Eat all the food
- Just do it. Try all of the food. Everything that I ate was wonderful, and trust me, I ate everything. Especially pastries….. They were delicious! This is the perfect time to try something new, something fresh, and something different. I was in a country that is known for their bread, and if I was a character on Sesame Street, I would be the bread monster…. You could say I was in heaven.