Be Paris best describes why I make the seasonal journey to the City of Lights. I make sure I create the opportunity to reboot, refresh and restore my spirit as I travel. I call this my Be Paris journey because in Paris, I find it easy to just be. Be quiet, Be engaging if I want to be, Be emotional, Be adventurous, and most importantly Be spontaneous. My first Be Paris journey was all about what we read in books and see on TV. A typical tourist, armed with maps, emergency numbers – I was scared to death.
Although I have family that lives here, they were on holiday out of the country. I was left in the hands of Ricki Stevenson, Owner of Black Paris Tours, and a family friend. Quite the whirlwind adventure and only piqued my interest in getting to know the City of Lights more intimately. Thank you Ricki for sharing your friends, food and fellowship with me. I think I started breathing when I got back to the United States. It was my first time soloflighting to a land I dreamt of as a teenager. For the first time in my life, I had the opportunity to just Be.
After a few well-timed trips to Paris under my belt with friends and without, I have learned more about Me. I need this moment, in one of my favorite places (so far) to pause and just Be Paris. There are secret streets that I need to find, as well as food that I need to experience. Now that I know this, I have acquired a few tools to just Be Paris.
My latest tool is a newly published book from Messy Nessy “Don’t Be A Tourist In Paris“.
Getting through this book in advance of my trip did not happen. I enjoyed reading it while in the Tuileries and on the Metro on my travels. This book provides a great roadmap to some of the places I was not familiar with. “Don’t Be A Tourist In Paris” also provided identification to places I had recently discovered. When I am in Be Paris mode, I do not get lost, I just discover new and interesting territory. One of the most interesting things I find about Paris is the ease of finding your way back to where you started. One of the areas featured in this book was the fabric district, just below Sacré-Cœur Basilica.
I have to catch myself and be mindful when looking for fabrics. One year I had to purchase an additional suitcase…and put some in the suitcase of my co-worker. When I visit Paris, one of the places I pause is les-coupons-de-Saint-Pierre. I visited there again this trip for some cool fabrics and some serious deals! Ooo LaLa!
When hunger hits, my next tool comes in quite handy, particularly if you are in the 5th AR.
Read this book in advance as I did, you will find it is very practical to keep on hand. I made the effort on my past two visits to Paris to actually check out a few of the places Tom recommended. I must say now I understand that slow service is not bad service…but all the more reason to linger and actually savor your meal, and enjoy the ambiance. In addition to this book, make time to see what Discover Paris Tours is offering. Tom is co-founder and offers a fantastic Black History Tour of the Luxembourg Gardens area. I took this tour and it was fantastic!! Next visit, I will plan on partaking in one of the Gourmet Walking Tours.
In order to just Be Paris, one must find time to just wander. A tour can be a wonderful think however. Finding that one tour that will blow your mind while in Paris can be challenging. I have learned that you really do not need to do more than two – but one can create memory. I am glad that this time I chose CityWonder for a Castle Trifecta Tour.
I had such a terrific time on this tour, I almost signed up for another day tour with two other travelers I met. We had a fantastic time on the way there, as well as on the way back. Of the Castles we visited…my favorite was…
Now you know how I just Be Paris. I am certain that the next time I visit, I will have a bigger toolkit and more stories to share. In the meantime, where is the place where you can just Be?
Slowly checking back into reality……
Teri, Cottage In The Court
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