It’s been over a month now since my sister and I said goodbye to Paris, but the memories created and the images captured in my mind are still as vivid as they first were. The crooked cobblestones, the tiny cars, the ubiquitous boulangeries, the overflowing flower stalls, the 7th arrondisement, the Rive Gauche, the Rive Droite, the Sacré Coeur, the Eiffel Tower, all of it was as magical as I knew it would be, and being there with my twin sister was the greatest highlight of all.
Back when I went to high school, I enrolled in the French Immersion Program, in which I would study the majority of my high school subjects in French. Prior to this, I spoke no French whatsoever so those first few weeks and months were tough. At times I wondered why I was even doing it, and whether I even could. But slowly, little by little, the language my teachers spoke to me started to make sense. I learnt alegebra, Pythagorus’ theorem and long division in French. I learnt the foundations of biology, chemistry and physics in French. I studied the climate, weather phenonem, and the earth’s geology in French. I studied the ancient and modern world’s history in French.
Then came the opportunity to travel to France to attend school in Paris on an exchange program. I was 14, and even though my French was good – fluently nearly – I was so shy, lacked confidence and was such a perfectionist that I couldn’t utter a single word without having had rehearsed it in my head first. I was my own worst enemy and this constant worry about getting things wrong held me back from interacting as much as I wished I had. It was something I regretted instantly when I arrived back home. Thankfully, as I’ve gotten older, I’m far less shy and far less concerned about being perfect. So this time around was my do over. Lauren and I happily chatted away in French to all we met, and surprised ourselves with how much we could still remember and how quickly the rest of it all came back. I felt like I finally did all those challenging years, tough classes, and most importantly myself, justice!
Basing ourselves in an Airbnb apartment in the 7th arrondisement allowed us to live out the dream of living in Paris like a Parisian. We shopped at the grocery stores the Parisians shopped at, we went to the markets the locals frequented, and we ate at the local French bistros and restaurants. And when it grew too cold for us to carry on, we retreated to our small, top floor apartment with the incredible view and marveled at how amazing it all was. I would highly recommend this neighbourhood and apartment to anyone visiting Paris!
I’ve shared some photographs from our first day in Paris here, and our day trip to Versailles here and here, but there were so many other photos taken in Paris that I wanted to share. So here is a little collection of some of my favourite memories from our time in Paris.
I love Paris for its flaws as much as its perfections, and I can’t wait to go back again one day and show Ty around one of my favourite cities in the world!
Have you been to Paris? What did you think? Do you have a favourite part? Thanks so much for reading! XO