They say 'Time waits for no one' & that sure is true. I learnt a long time ago that waiting on people to do things with, sometimes means you'll miss out on a lot of experiences. I think as people we have to learn to enjoy our own company before we can fully embrace the presence of others around us.
In my last post here, I talked about "Getting out the way of yourself" and doing things outside your comfort zone. So what better way to kick start the year than travelling to Paris...alone! A lot of people questioned me on this but where is the rulebook that I have to explore the world with someone by my side at all times. I did this for the experience of something different & to be honest just because one of my goals was to travel somewhere alone. I haven't travelled outside the UK in a very long time , so it was a big deal for me & as I said 'Time waits for no one'. So I took the jump & went for it. I chose to stay at Hotel Carina Tour Eiffel in the Beaugrenelle/Charles Michel area. The hotel was only 3 stars but a lovely place nonetheless with welcoming, friendly staff, a comfy bed & a bathroom with the most amazing lighting! Situated on a quiet side road, a short walk from the Eiffel Tower, it really made my stay very comforting.
My first day was spent visiting the Eiffel Tower, typical touristy stuff. Thankfully this was only down the road from me so I was able to walk and explore a little on my journey. It was so cold! London was actually mild compared to how cold it was in Paris that day. Nonetheless I braved waiting ages to go up the Eiffel Tower (all 3 floors) and it was worth every minute. The views of Paris from the top were incredible & I could see every other monument. By the time I got up there it was very dark but being the city of lights, I could see the whole city lit up including the wheel at Place de la Concorde & Arc de Triomphe. Such a great view of a beautiful city.
It was so weird to be a tourist for once. To every international person who has struggled with English here, I feel your pain now. My French was so poor that the only words I could mutter correctly were "Bonjour" and "Merci". I do wish I would have learnt more before going. Seeing the monuments that I hear people talk about so much; Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower etc.. really gave me a sense of fulfilment, to see things you've only seen in pictures in reality is exciting but it made me want to explore the world more. The world is such an incredible thing, how can I possibly go through life without seeing what it has to offer.
The boots I had chosen to wear on my second day, turned out to not be for walking so I decided to reside my shopping trip on Champ Elysees in Vapianos for a much loved pizza, which had the most amazing plant wall that I had to snap before I left. Honestly the small greenhouse in Vapianos Oxford Circus is minor compared to that.
I spent the last couple of days around the Concorde area. A walking tour showed me more landmark places such as The Love Lock Bridge, The Louvre, Notre Dame etc.. it also brought me to Rue de Rivoli where I was able to visit Colette, a store I had heard a lot about. That place is so cool, if I ever decided to move to Paris, that is where I would want to work for sure! I love how chic the French make everything look, even right down to their Stone Island boutique, that looked like it would have a nice feature at fashion week.
As strange as it was for me to be in another country & city on my own, Paris is so intriguing and calm that I did not feel out of place or bored. The people are very kind & it's so easy to get around especially by walking or the Metro, I highly recommend anyone to go there for a solo trip if you are considering one. I hope this year brings me many more great experiences outside my comfort zone, I really want to invest in experiences this year. I took this trip not only to have some me time but to get back into taking photos & I'm pretty sure my motivation is back.
"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow"