In the past, I’ve always held the idea that I never wanted to see the same city twice. I thought it would be a waste of my time and money to go somewhere I’d already been when there are so many other places I haven’t seen yet. But now I have the opportunity to go to Italy for work and I wanted to take advantage of that by taking an extra week of vacation and traveling somewhere close by. I could’ve gone to a new part of Italy I had never been to before but I had the strong desire to go to Paris.
I’ve been to Paris before. I went in 2008 with two of my good friends and while Paris was the city I was looking forward to the most on our two-month travels, our whole week there felt bittersweet to me. My jaw dropped when I saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time and I loved the views from the Sacre Coeur and the Arc de Triomphe and the crepes and croissants were everything I hoped for. But it also rained the whole time we were there, I twisted my ankle a bit, and some of the rich food played a number on my stomach. I was fortunate to be able to go to Paris but knew that I needed to go back one day to redeem myself.
So as I was deciding whether or not to go to Paris after my work trip, I noticed signs all over the place pushing me to say yes. I coincidentally came across articles, books, or magazines praising the benefits of visiting a city for the second time. Leslie Knope strolling through the streets of Paris with Ben and saying that if you ever have the opportunity to go to Paris, you should go, was a sign, as was ‘the Mother’ on How I Met Your Mother singing “La Vie en Rose” unknowingly to Ted. I like noticing the signs, especially when they appear on my favorite TV shows.
With my ticket and apartment booked, I’m falling more and more in love with the idea of seeing Paris again. What I love is that I’m planning to see and do new things in Paris I didn’t have the chance to see the first time around. A photography museum, a crepe restaurant, Shakespeare & Company bookstore, a cooking class, some shopping, and the gardens of Monet in Giverny. I have a long list of bakeries, cafes, and ice cream shops to hit up. I have no set schedule but it’ll be nice to just do what I feel like when I feel like it. And that will most likely include sitting at a cafe for a few hours doing nothing but eating, drinking, and watching Paris pass me by. I don’t see all of this as a boring repeat but a chance to get to know Paris better and in a whole new way. It’s not everyday you get to go to the City of Lights so I consider myself very lucky. And as Audrey Hepburn would say, “Paris is always a good idea.”