The phrase ‘I need a holiday’ has been uttered by every single stressed person at least once a year and if you’re me, then potentially on the daily. As a society, we long for those breaks in our busy schedules, the chance to get away and leave all our worries behind in rainy England. The day of your flight comes around, there’s palpable excitement to get away and then a week away in sunshine goes by waaay too quickly and you’re back in your office wondering how it all happened so fast, albeit slightly more rejuvenated to get on with your work.
Holidays are always a pick-me-up for me. Being in a new place is refreshing and it always leaves me feeling super inspired to work my bum off as soon as I’m home. However, when I took a trip to Paris this last week with my boyfriend, I honestly feel like I’ve come back a changed woman. You know the old backpacker mantra of ‘oh yah, I went travelling to find myself’? Well, I went to Paris and found myself. I might have lost myself a little since I’ve come home and the holiday blues has kicked in, but this gal has more of a vision for how she wants this blog to go and how she wants her life to go more than ever. I don’t know why I’m talking about myself in 3rd person, but believe me, I’m a new me.
Paris has long been dubbed as the City of Love, and I’m tellin’ ya now, although, of course, being there with my boyfriend was lovely n romantic n all that, I actually fell in love with Paris. Legitimately, if I wasn’t bogged down doing an English degree with zero funds, I would be flat-hunting and becoming an honorary Parisian as we speak. And this is a major breakthrough for Maddie.
Although I absolutely love travelling and visiting new places, I’m a wee creature of habit and in my eyes, there’s nowt better than home. When I was in London for work experience at Heat Magazine last month, I got close to the feeling of ‘oh my God I need to move here now’ because I was doing my dream job, in a city that’s full of buzz, excitement and diversity. However, by the time I’d arrived home, I realised how bladdy knackered the London commute had made me, and I was actually quite content to see green fields and tractors driving past my house again. I’ve always thought I was more of a country girl at heart.
But honestly, I actually cannot express enough how much I adore Paris. It’s been a dream of mine to go, ever since I watched the film ‘Madeleine’ as a toddler. If I had the funds on me, I’d be in my car on the way to Birmingham Airport, pronto. I have genuinely never visited a more beautiful, inspiring place. On arrival back in the UK, I literally feel like half of me is still in Paris, feelin’ all Parisian and probably eating a baguette, awaiting my return. Whenever that shall be, I do not know, but if this post doesn’t inspire you to hop on a plane to Paris when you book your next holiday, I don’t know what will.
So with that, I thought I’d quickly run through 10 of my absolute favourite things about the City of Love. I say 10, but the love doesn’t stop there, I could definitely go on a whole lot longer, but I’ve got an advanced reading list for uni that probably needs tackling seeing as I go back this weekend. Ugh.
1) You’re in a city, but you don’t actually feel like you’re in a city
Now, this boggles me completely. I live in Birmingham during term-time, and there’s no getting away from the fact that you’re living in a city. The buildings are industrial, there’s smoggy fumes and waaay too much traffic. Hop on a plane to Paris, and you’ll literally feel like you’re in some magical place that’s immune to everything that could possibly be annoying about a city. Every street winds and twists towards beautiful buildings, independent shops are scattered down every street and even though people drive like idiots (have you ever seen the traffic at the Arc de Triomphe?! Like seriously, they need traffic lights) you can excuse them BECAUSE YOU’RE IN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CITY.
2) French people know how to dress
A girl who literally looked my age sat down on the metro next to me, clutching the Gucci Dionysus bag close to her chest. (One thing not so great about Paris? Pickpockets. Be careful, ppl). Whilst being incredibly jealous and slightly baffled as to how she has the money at 20 to buy such a thing, I also got major outfit inspo from her. Literally, you walk down the streets of Paris and you walk past so many people looking, for want of a less clichéd French word, v v chic.
3) For a city that’s been devastated by horrific terror attacks, the magic of Paris will never be destroyed
I think this is part of the true magic of the city. Just as in Manchester and London and other cities around the world that have been rocked by tragedy, we all pull through. The beauty of Paris, its millions of visitors having an incredible time and the local people who stand up to adversity sticks one huge middle finger up to terrorism. We won’t let them win.
4) You literally feel like you’re in a film
Standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, I literally felt like I was staring at some mahoosive Insta photo. It just didn’t feel real. The architecture is unbelievable, the Parisians around you are almost too chic to be real and the magical atmosphere means each and every day in the city is so perfect.
5) The Eiffel Tower sparkles every hour, on the hour at night. Do I need to say more?!
I honestly sobbed watching it. No shame.
6) Disneyland is a half-hour train ride away. Fulfil your childhood dreams to your heart’s content.
Now, I’m not a huge Disney fan, but I still felt my inner child want a pic with Mickey. And walking through Sleeping Beauty’s castle might have made me feel like a princess. The place is pure happiness.
7) THE FOOD IS AMAZING (even if it does cost 6 euros for a CAN OF COKE)
Bring your dosh w you to Paris, bc you’re gonna need it. The food is insaaanely expensive (17.50 for a cocktail WHAT) but it just tastes sooo good.
8) There is just so much to do. You can never be bored. It’s amazing.
Some serious planning needs to go into your trip to make sure you get to see as much of Paris as possible. You’ve got good ol’ Eiffel, The Louvre, Notre Dame, the Champs Elysees, a river boat trip down the Seine… You name it, you’ve got to do it. Sightsee to the MAX.
9) The frigging metros are double decker- it’s insane
My brain still can’t get over how many DOUBLE DECKER carriages there are on one metro train. When we got the metro to Disneyland, we were packed like sardines in our double decker carriage. Each of the 10 carriages were equally as packed. That’s a whole lot of people on a train. It’s insane.
10) It’s just the most amazing place to be with someone you love
Whether that’s your other half, your friends or your family, Paris is just such a magical place to experience with ya nearest and dearest. Can you tell I want to move there asap or?