It’s that moment of dread that hits me as soon as I’ve made a wrong turn or walked past one street too many. I turn around, hoping to see something familiar or a helpful sign, but there’s nothing nearby.
I’m completely lost.
Since I’ve moved to France, this has not been an uncommon occurrence. Paris is not the easiest city in the world to navigate, by foot, taxi or metro. In fact, I’ve managed to get lost in each of the countries I’ve visited – a fact that makes me quite proud.
What you see when you’re going someplace with a tour is great and historic and culturally significant, but the things you find when you’re completely lost are sometimes so much cooler.
In a big city like Paris, it’s really easy to just lose yourself in the crowds of Parisians or tourists that storm the sidewalks. Everyone always has someplace where they had to be five minutes ago, and no one really ever stops to look at the trees that are finally blooming or the patterns that the sun makes as it reflects off the Seine River.
Every city has these little things that can turn your whole day around, but most of them are well off the beaten track. Every once in a while you have to take a break from your daily troubles and explore your surroundings. I’ve found a few really cool places so far in Paris, including an amazing bakery, a quiet park where I like to sit and catch up on homework – it just happens to be across the river from the Notre Dame – and this cool tower that was built in the 12th century (see picture). These excursions are just what I need when I have too much to do or that occasional bout of homesickness.
Other than continuing to get lost, Paris is truly a wonderful city. You can always find something interesting or new down any little side street or main boulevard. You just have to keep your eyes open and you can find something almost otherworldly.
It’s almost spring break here! I’ll be staying the first week here in the city with some family members, but after that I’m headed to Scotland to spend a few days in Edinburgh and Glasgow. I hope you’re having a great semester!
Last month, Sarah made her way to Spain and Monaco.