After an elongated spring break trip to Paris, I am finally back home; I have adjusted to my life in Barcelona, so now I get to call it home! I was supposed to take a week-long trip to Paris, but after a strike occurred with the airline, my trip lasted ten days, which I was upset about at first, but then I realized how lucky I was to be stuck in Paris.
Once again, I fell in love with Paris like I have been falling in love with the other countries and cities that I’ve visited. As soon as I arrived, I took advantage of my day and quickly made my way to the Eiffel Tower. This marks another thing off my list of dreams. I smiled like an idiot as I took a ton of photos, because who really ever gets the opportunity to travel to such beautiful places at a young age?
I spent the whole day near the Eiffel Tower and stared at its beauty. When the day was coming to an end, I made my way to my friend’s house who would be hosting me for the whole week. I met her last year when she studied abroad from Paris and we instantly became friends.
She welcomed me into the home where she lives with her family and the experience of living there for a week was very different. The house looked like a scene from Moulin Rouge. Every room was decorated very fancily. Chandeliers, dimmed lights, dark colored rooms and wooden floors gave me the perfect French vibe. I was so happy to call this place my home for my stay in Paris.
I had to adapt to the French culture fast. They ate breakfast at eleven and dinner at nine in the evening, so I did too. They walked around with a baguette and drank wine with their meals, and of course, so did I. I had a great time trying to mimic what my friend and her family did. I was only doing it to get the whole French experience and I really enjoyed it. I took advantage of my time in Paris and I visited every grand tourist attraction.
I feel that I became very autonomous here. I traveled through the city alone on most days while my friend was at school, but I enjoyed the solitude. This helped me take everything in and appreciate my opportunity of being there. One of my favorite experiences was attending mass in Notre Dame on Easter Sunday. The priest gave the mass in French and although I did not understand much of the language, I understood the actions he made, because Catholicism is the same in every country. I felt at peace and I was humbled to be immersed in a crowded church with a harmonizing French choir singing beautifully.
Two other friends that I made two years ago while they studied abroad also took me into their homes for a couple of days and showed me how to have an adventurous day in Paris. We visited the Palace of Versailles, an enormous castle where royalty used to live. It was a mind-blowing site to see. Later that day we ate delicious French pastries. If you think you’ve had the best pastries anywhere else, you must come to Paris! The sweets don’t get any better than this! We then ended the night dancing to rumba music, which was also a fun-filled adventure.
When I got the bad news that my flight was canceled, another friend named Soline took me into her home without knowing how long I would stay there. I was happy to have such a great friend around to help me figure out the sticky situation I was in. The extra days in Paris definitely broke my bank, but they also helped me get more acquainted with the city that I fell in love with. I learned many French terms and used them on a daily basis. As my time came to an end, I was saddened to be leaving but thankful for the experience.
Now, to go on with my blog title, I have to say ‘Cheers!’ to international friends. Without my friends that live in Paris, I do not think this trip would have been possible. I saved tons of money on a hotel and I had a pleasant time being in actual homes rather than in a hostel. Do not be afraid to make international friends, and if you think you will never see them again, you might be mistaken! I am happy to have seen my old friends and roommates after such a long time. Some people think that friendships with people from other countries are not valid, but just look at my experience and realize that true friends will be there for you no matter how much time has passed. I am looking forward to making more friends abroad because it is a true blessing!