Many travellers have a place that is “their destination.” They always wanted to travel there. They’ve studied it, discussed it, longingly stared at pictures of it…and when they finally get to travel there, they build more and more memories, aspiring to return.
Paris is that place for me. As a Canadian, French culture was part of my schooling since grade one. I loved the culture and language so much, that I studied it throughout my undergraduate degree. The place, the culture, the language, the history…everything about Paris intrigued me, fascinated me, and screamed at me to come visit.
And then I finally was able to go! 2006 I was at a conference in Dubai and Air Transat had this awesome option for a 72-hour layover in Paris. I cried when I saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time. I giddily walked along the Seine. I explored Versailles and loved exploring the bakeries and markets. I bought a dress off the side of the road.
In 2013 I returned again with my then boyfriend; we left Paris engaged. Ken surprised me with the most beautifully romantic, scrutinizingly planned, perfectly executed engagement. Ken turned Paris from a place I only ever dreamt about to a place where my life was made into a dream! If Paris was once part of my soul, now it was part of my heart.
We’ve returned twice since – once in June 2015 on the way home to Canada and just recently in January. Every time we explore new areas, but likewise still return to familiar places we know and love. Paris plays a huge role in “our” story.
Below are 2 of our engagement photos, courtesy of Julian at http://www.picmytrip.com (a fab photographer, by the way, if you’re ever in need of a Parisian photoshoot!)
I will one day write a post offering my own suggestions for a Paris vacation. But for now…travelling through seasons. I have been to Paris now three times in the summer and once in the winter. Both are magical in different ways.
But I grew up loving the Cole Porter song I love Paris in the Springtime. Here is a link to Ella Fitzgerald’s beautiful rendition:
And so it’s my goal to visit Paris in every season. Short, snowy, blistery, frigid winter days look magical yet oh so different than the sunny, warm, long, blue-skied, blossoming days of summer. Which means the culture will be slightly different. Routines will be slightly different. Etiquette will be slightly different. I want to know and see it all!
I come from a country with 4 seasons and I presently live in a country with 2. I’ve lived in Tanzania throughout all its seasons. Every season brought with it slightly different approaches to everything in life. Me, I want to experience that in Paris.
Most of the time when we visit a place we know that it will be our one chance to visit. Financial constraints and time limitations means that most people want to see somewhere new rather than travelling to a similar destination. Or, if you do return to the same destination, chances are it’s during the same time of year (example: snow birds heading from Canada to Florida each winter).
But when you have a place you love, that place that breathes through your soul and heart, that place you’ve longed to visit since a child…I highly suggest you make it your mission to visit in all of its seasons.
I love Paris in the summer. I love Paris in the winter. I’m sure spring and fall are lovely…but I just don’t know yet!
Travel through the seasons. A great way to get to know a place in more depth!