Bonjour friends! As some of you know, I recently rebranded my blog from health over to an overall lifestyle blog. One of the categories I’m going to deep dive into is travel. I’ve done my fair share of travel within the United States but I’m not a seasoned international traveler. Hoping to change that sooner than later. But for now I’m going to share with you the details of the one and only international trip I’ve taken- cue March 2013-Paris, France.
My best friend and I booked our trip to Paris on my birthday. The six month wait from September until we actually went in March was brutal! I loved having something so exciting to look forward to but I couldn’t wait until the actual day I would see the Eiffel Tower. But at last the day arrived. We took our red eye flight and woke up in another country. We were on such a high that the fact that we couldn’t find our shuttle for over an hour (nor communicate this problem to anyone due to the language barrier) barely phased us.
We arrived at our very cute and very pink hotel (conveniently located just steps from the Eiffel Tower)- shoutout to Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel Hotel! I attempted to straighten my hair and blew a fuse, leaving us without any hair tools for the next week. But it didn’t matter- we had a foreign city to explore.
Over the next week we did the things we’d daydreamed of our whole lives- went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, drank wine on Paris streets, saw the Mona Lisa up close, blew kisses at the Moulin Rouge, nibbled on macaroons, rocked berets at Versailles Palace (which gave us away as tourists!), and nearly stopped traffic while taking photos under the Arc De Triomphe. It was overall a magical trip and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. However, that being said- if I were to go back I would do a few things differently:
- If you’re already going all the way to Paris you might as well visit somewhere else. We spent a week in Paris. It was great but by day 4 we were itching for some new scenery. London and other parts of France are not that far away. Worth the extra $!
- You don’t have to tip! My friend and I tipped the entire trip until we found out on the last day that tip is already included in the bill. We were wondering why servers were acting so strange when we paid our check.
- Prepare for the fact that the stereotype is true- most French people aren’t the friendliest to Americans. Everyone told us to learn a few phrases before going but I didn’t really try to learn anything. Maybe if I had put in the effort to know some common terms the French would have respected me more.
- If you have a sensitive stomach do your research on what you can/should eat. I was fine on my trip but as soon as I came home I experienced over a month of major digestive issues that required a couple doctor visits and (sorry TMI) a few rounds of laxatives. Apparently this is a common problem when traveling because the way other countries treat their meat is different than in America. This throws our stomachs into havoc.
I wish I had specific suggestions to give you but the trip so was long ago that my memory is hazy and my travel notes are long gone. In future travel posts I plan to detail some specific restaurant, lodging, and entertainment suggestions.
I hope you enjoyed taking a walk down memory lane with me. I will forever hold my adventures in Paris close to my heart!