It’s impossible to contain our trip to Paris in just one post. I waited to write about Paris until I really had time to let the trip sink in. Here we are a month later and I still don’t know if I have all the right words. My Paris trip changed my perspective on travel and so many other things. Paris was my first trip overseas and it changed my life.
I have dreamed about going to Paris since I was in high school, but I wasn’t sure how I would ever get there. I vividly remember sitting in my bedroom in our double-wide home making a scrapbook page about how I wanted to go to Paris and London. (I will have to see if I can find these one day!!)
The only talk my parents did of international travel was of going to Germany to visit my brother one summer, and that never happened. My high school self knew if I’d ever make it to France it was going to be by doing it myself. And yet, I lived my life and years passed and I never even left the country. I never had the funds to travel and by the time I became a single mom again, the Paris dream was so faint I could barely see it.
Enter my dreamboat husband….
One night after my now-husband and I first started talking, he talked all about the places he had been in Europe. He told me he had been to “Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam, London, and… Paris”. I was immediately enamored with his desire to travel abroad. He was handsome and worldly. Little did I know that the words he texted to me that first night we were talking would change my life: “Well I can be your personal travel guide.”
Y’all, you know how men are when they are trying to woo you. I’m not gonna lie, I straight-up thought he was just saying that to hang out with me. Those thoughts eventually changed when he booked us a trip to California a few months after that, and then in California he said: “I want to take you to Paris.”
He continued to say it, and by God, this January he bought us plane tickets to Paris. It felt like a dream. Words can’t describe how I felt boarding the plane that day. Well, first of all, I was anxiety-ridden because I’ve never been on a plane more than 4.5 hours, BUT other than that I couldn’t wait. It felt like a dream come true… because it was.
Arriving in Paris and walking around our first day felt unreal. I remember lugging my 30lb. suitcase down the streets of Paris toward our hotel which made me not want to take luggage to a foreign country ever again, when all of the sudden, we rounded a corner and there it was. The FREAKING Eiffel Tower!!! My jaw dropped. I was overwhelmed with the feeling that I had made it to Paris.
I have spent much of my life being scared and living with anxiety. I’ve spent my life afraid of everything – afraid of change, afraid to take chances. I let fear control my life for a long time. But here I was in PARIS… I didn’t freak out on the plane, nothing bad happened, my anxious self had made it!
The Eiffel Tower twinkles at certain times at night and I couldn’t wait to see it. We had just finished dinner our second night there and were headed back to our hotel. My husband was bothered because I hadn’t had “my moment” yet.
“My moment” happens when we are traveling some place I never thought I’d see, and I inevitably become so overwhelmed that I begin to cry. I’m a crier y’all, I can’t help it. I cry because I’m so. damn. happy. at these places. And I cry because I’m just a girl from southern Illinois with big dreams and a tiny checking account, who happened to meet a man who has a heart of gold, and a desire to see said girl happy.
On our walk back, it happened. My husband could see the tower twinkling in the reflection of a building’s windows. We ran down the street to see it, and there on the corner of the street watching the Eiffel Tower twinkle, I cried. I had “my moment”.
I cried because I never thought I’d make it to Paris, because I was so damn happy to be there with the love of my life, and because it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Here’s a photo I took that night after it stopped twinkling:
Paris changed me. It made me realize how much my husband loves me, that I can fly on a plane for 9 hours and live to tell the tale, and that I am in control of my life. Anxiety is something I’ll live with for the rest of my days, but its’ days of controlling me are over.