My first time to the city of love was many years ago as a child with my family when we still lived in England. We had gone for what would become our annual trip to Disneyland. My sister and I were obsessed with the love stories and the princesses, I was Ariel and my sister was Jasmine and sometimes Belle. Every trip was an adventure; we’d stay in Disneyland in their hotel and have breakfast with Winnie the Pooh, Goofy and Mickey, head to the rides for the day and finish with a walk around the park to see all the lights. My parents always took great care in making each time special and memorable. My parents love letter to my sister and I.
Flash forward to my early twenties and I embarked on a new trip to Paris. Whilst my Ariel costume was long gone I had a new costume, a young traveller in search of adventure. I went with friends at the time; we’d planned a 6 week holiday, England, France, Italy, Germany and Singapore. This was to be a trip of a lifetime, my love letter to myself. Unfortunately, things didn’t exactly go to plan, and Paris saw me at my darkest. Hard lessons were learned, friendships were broken and my heart was left feeling very sad.
Whilst I had since gone back to England, I still felt like a weight was over me, like I had to find my closure and release the ghost. It was such an awful time, I felt lonely and isolated and that I could never find happiness in a place I had loved since I was a child.
Now 3 years on from that awful experience, I booked to go to England for Christmas with my family. I hadn’t thought of going anywhere else really as I was so keen to show Stathis my home and where I came from. It wasn’t until I was perusing Trip Advisor as I so often do, when a day trip popped up on my screen - “Romantic Paris getaway for 2”. Every time I thought about Paris my heart always kind of skipped a beat, and this time I thought to myself, this isn’t how I want to remember Paris. I want to make new memories, similar to my childhood memories and reframe that whole sad time in my life! I had to write a new love letter.
So I booked a 3 day getaway during our England trip for just the two of us – our own little romantic getaway. I found the nicest hotel in our budget, planned our days and instantly felt lighter in some way.
When we arrived to the hustle and bustle of Gare De Nord, after almost missing our 5:30 am train, I felt such a buzz and array of excitement. That sense of adventure and freedom was back and I was ready, with Stathis by my side.
We didn’t waste any time, picking up our Paris passes and jumping on the hop on hop off bus before 10 am. We had fresh croissant and hot coffee in our bellies and we were ready to go! It was so cold but I felt so warm. I saw so many things that felt familiar but now brand new. Stathis and I marvelled at Haussmann’s Paris, with the signature limestone buildings, ornate facades and balconies adorned with fresh flowers, even in the height of winter. I was in love.
Watching Stathis wonder at the grandeur of the city, the impressiveness of the sights and see him smile, the ghost was gone. By lunch on that first day, as we sat down to eat at a beautiful café near our hotel, I felt so happy. I knew Stathis already loved Paris as much as I did and knew the next few days were going to be magical. This was my love letter to him.
We went everywhere our feet would take us, the Louvre, Notre-Dame, Champs-Elysées. We walked along the river Seine, crossed famous bridges like the Pont Neuf and Pont Alexandre III, we ate our weight in crepes opposite the Eiffel Tower, indulged in the decadence of Ladurée and finished our last day with a trip to the Palace of Versailles.
I have visited many cities and lived in one of the biggest in the world, but something always brings me back to Paris. It’s a big statement but it is my favourite city ever. A classic romantic at heart, a lover of architecture and food, this place has it all.
If you are planning a European vacation, you must place Paris at the top of your list. Not just for the trip up the Eiffel Tower or to wear a red beret and eat croissant. But for the feeling you get when you are there. The feeling of walking where past lovers have walked, where wars of passion and justice have been fought, and where I fell so hard but rose again.
My love story with Paris is not typical but it is epic to me. I hope you find your story there too.
Until next time,
A twenty something London girl, living in Melbourne. I love all things food, travel, fairy lights, design, fashion and floral! Here to ramble and entertain whilst you sip your morning cuppa!