Paris highlights

Paris withdrawal, day 2:  Symptoms are manifesting in expected and unexpected ways.  Currently drinking white wine, eating Camembert cheese, and watching episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 1.  I suspect this has something to do with the Captain.

This was my first trip to the City of Light.  I had tempered expectations of Paris, based on the advice of many friends and coworkers: “Parisians are awful to anyone who doesn’t speak perfect French.”  “The Eiffel Tower is nothing special.”  “It’s over-crowded and too expensive.”

After seven days in Paris with one of the kindest Parisians people I am lucky enough to know, my expectations have been vastly exceeded, and Paris has lodged itself in my heart along with so many other beloved cities and people.

I spent my week eating heaps of red meat, steadily sipping wine, snacking on macarons and croissants, and fulfilling just about every stereotype of a tourist in France.  My memory card is carrying five-hundred photos and my suitcase smells of cheese and Guerlain perfume.

For now, I will share a few highlights.  More detailed descriptions coming soon.  À bientôt!

51 comments

  1. Sherry Chen

    This is a gorgeous blog! I was just in Paris a week ago and had the same diet of macarons and croissants as you did. These pictures capture the beauty of the city.

    • I feel that ache sometimes too… which is strange because I only spent a week there. I sometimes get the feeling that I lived an entire secret life in Paris that I forgot about, like an old dream, which sometimes comes back to me in little whispers and feelings.

  2. youfoundmarwa

    The photos are so beautifully vivid, I feel like I’m in Paris just looking at them! I love your photography, and your blog is absolutely soul-lifting!

  3. Pingback: Paris highlights | Jaahmor in the World

  4. I had the same expectations of Paris and thought I wouldn’t like it – but loved it! I met not a single rude Parisian, despite my minimal knowledge of French (by minimal, I mean I could say “hello”, “thank you” and “I don’t speak French sorry”). I’m looking forward to returning!

  5. This is such a lovely blog. I am moving to France next year for six months and then to Hong Kong for another six. Do you have any advice for me in terms of this new nomadic lifestyle that you seem to have mastered so well?

    • What a spectacular year you have ahead of you! My biggest advice would be to be proactive about building a supportive social circle around yourself. My most difficult times living abroad have been those times when I’ve felt lonely. Seek out good people with whom you can be yourself. Maybe they will be locals, but maybe not. In Colombia, nearly all my friends were Colombians, and I fit in with them wonderfully. But here in Georgia, I have found that I really need to deliberately seek out other ex-pats from Western, less traditional countries to decompress and fully be myself every once in a while.

      Find what combination works for you and work hard to keep those social ties intact! Consistent friendships are (for me) the key to sustained happiness, home or abroad. It’s just a bit harder to maintain them while abroad.

      Good luck and keep us updated on your journey!

  6. God, I love these photos. Paris is one of my favourite cities in the world. I’m glad it exceeded your expectations. The French get a bad reputation because they refuse to suck up to foreigners and just carry on doing their own thing. I love it there. ❤

  7. Glad you liked Paris. I have heard from various people they either loved or hated Paris. There does not seem to be a middle ground. I’ve been to Paris many times and have visited it as a local thanks to family who is in the area. Looks like you had a great time! Oh and cute companion too. 🙂

    • I loved it, but I’m not entirely sure how I would have felt about the city if I’d explored it alone. This trip had motives besides simply visiting Paris, so that might have impacted how much I adored the place. 😉

  8. E.

    I visited Paris a few years ago, and like you, I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. I speak no French, but made the effort to learn a few key phrases (hello, how are you, please, thank you, where’s the toilette?), and found that in return for that small courtesy, the Parisians went out of their way to be helpful, even if there was a language barrier. The scenery in Paris is almost as heavenly as the wine and cheese. I can’t wait to go back!

    • I agree Loni! And yes, my present self is seething with envy of my last-week-self, if that’s possible… I’m already dying to go back. Returning to Tbilisi seems to be getting harder and harder every time I leave. :-\

  9. Tataworld

    I just went to Paris for the holidays. And under the Eiffel Tower I received a marriage proposal! it really is the city of light!

  10. What beautiful pictures, I look forward to seeing some more of the 500 – you must have explored a lot if you had 7 days! Before my first trip to Paris I too had been warned that I wouldn’t like it and had really lowered my expectations. But I also stayed with a local friend, had an amazing time and fell in love with Paris.

  11. Auntie Kay

    Meghan I can’t wait to hear everything about your Paris experience!!
    I’m so glad to hear you had such a great time 🙂

  12. Su

    Meghan, so glad that you made it here and that you have seen Paris in her best light. I recognise all those shots, and it still holds as one of the truly most beautiful cities of the world. The French are unique, but I have learnt that it is probably fear that stops them speaking to you in English and engaging with you rather than arrogance. Hope you have had a great summer. Look forward to more shots.

    • Thanks Su! Actually, I didn’t have a single negative experience in Paris. In fact, on the one occasion when I hit a language barrier, the young lady apologized to me profusely for her bad English! Those Parisians are more sweet than they let on… 😉

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