Imagine a place in your mind where everything is divine. A place where your worst day there, would be your best day anywhere else.
This place for me, is Paris.
I’ve had my fair share of unpleasant encounters, unruly experiences and uncomfortable situations in France. Nothing is perfect. If it was, would it really be all that interesting or intriguing? I’ve walked until my feet were bleeding from pain after a day of exploring, I’ve had terrible food poisoning from a kebab stand, had my hair pulled while trying to go to an antique market, and have been lost in the middle of nowhere near Rouen, France because a French woman purposefully gave me the wrong directions back to Paris…rude.
It’s a little (sometimes a lot) scary. I wouldn’t have been able to go on the trips I have gone on without the support of friends and like-minded people who are smart, courageous, curious and kind. It takes a good amount of trust and instinct to explore different cities and places where cultures differ from your own. That is if you really want to delve into a culture…
Traveling to explore and traveling for vacation are two very different things. Exploring is work. It takes effort, dedication, energy and endurance to get through days of exploring and not everyone can do it, and many people choose not to. A vacation is just that. You’re vacating life. Getting away to relax. If you’re an explorer, you want to dig deep to really see into the eyes of someone else’s life and how they live. If this sounds like you, and you’re still in school… I highly, highly recommend studying abroad to experience this.
Exploring alone is good and bad. I’ve traveled alone to Switzerland for a weekend. It was exhilarating, but lonely. It pushes you out of your comfort zone, but also reels you in.
If you’ve never done it, you really should. You see a side of you, you wouldn’t normally meet day-to-day.
So, here is the question…are you an explorer, or a vacationer?
Up next: Soldes d’été – summer sales in France & Parisian fashion