Paris is always a good idea! Audrey Hepburn is known to have coined this phrase, and I couldn’t agree with her more. Paris has come into my life during different stages, securing a unique place in my heart each time around. The people who have shared these experiences with me on my various trips are individuals who I hold dearly to my heart and am so grateful for their company in one of my favorite cities in the world. When one travels, the people present really shape the outcome of experiences and memories that are established. That can of course go either way. Thankfully, all six visits to the “city of lights” have been magical in their own way.
One of the things I miss most about living in Europe is the easy access to other European cities within a few hours flight from Barcelona. Getting out of work at 4pm on a Friday and catching a 6pm flight was super exciting. As I write this en route to Palm Springs, which is my favorite weekend getaway out of LA, I reflect on how my travel dynamics have changed these days (not for the better nor worse, just different). I love being in the presence of the desert. It’s captivating landscape, the arid air amidst a presence of nothingness, readily fills my soul in ways even the most fabulous cities in the world can not (except maybe for Rio). When I have moments where I think about what I have left behind in my “past life”, I consciously root myself and make an effort to be grateful for the experiences I was already granted. Our human condition of either living in the past or wanting to live in the future is common amongst us all. Even though happiness is maximized when one is able to live in the present, even during my deep reflective moments I find myself in a constant struggle to remember that my life is actually quite gratifying in the present.
However, those mornings when I wake up in LA and wish I had a pending trip to Marrakech or Paris, I find it difficult to find a way to bring myself to the present and not yearn for my past. Can you blame me? It is not just experiences that we tend to hold on to and see in a positive light with hindsight bias. Hindsight vision, is 20/20 they say. So even relationships that possibly didn’t serve us or things that infiltrated us with toxicity are seen through our present lens as beautiful and self-fulfilling.
Paris and Barcelona occupy my thoughts often, sometimes on a daily basis. It probably does not help that I have wall art pieces hanging that I see on a daily basis, which have the power to instigate memories. But I do long for the leisurely walks through the Marais checking out the vintage shops, sipping wine and people watching on Rue Vieille du Temple.
Aimlessly walking around the city, trekking up to Montmartre for impressionable views of the city and the diverse flavors of macarons that I consume during my duration there, I do miss.
Those mid-day breaks picnicking at the Luxemburg Gardens or on the banks of the Seine River with a baguette and cheese will fondly remain in my memory. In fact, my favorite memory was with my sister when we just chilled for hours at the Champ de Mars, while doing an informal photo shoot with the superstar of Paris, the Eiffel Tower
I am afraid to even start listing the outstanding culinary experiences I’ve had in Paris as I can go on for hours explaining the numerous foodgasms I’ve experienced while there. However, I do have to give a special shoutout to Le Cheateubriand, which made it to the top 50 best restaurants in the world. Smiles accompanied us during our four hour dining experience with each dish bringing in a new experience for our mouth and eyes.
I really find it difficult to hear when people express their poor experiences in the city that I have received only warm welcomes and positive vibes with each visit. So why did Audrey Hepburn claim that Paris is always a good idea. I can probably come up with various arguments as to why this statement is absolutely true, but I think it’s best to get lost in this beautiful city and experience it yourself to really know what she meant by that. If that is not possible at the moment, I invite you check out these fantastic Paris based travel blogs, which can do more justice to the city than I can.
I’m really hoping by putting this on “paper”, the soul of Paris will give me a mental break for a little bit. And if it doesn’t, I have a thousand and one great memories that I won’t suppress and will continue to cherish.
Till again Paris, Au Revoir…