Pas tous ceux qui sont perdus errent.
(All who wander are not lost. )
It was the last week of the year and on Christmas Eve I would find myself boarding a Delta flight to Paris for the holidays. Alone.
Now before you think I am crazy, it was the best thing I could have done.
A newly proclaimed solo traveler, I had decided six months prior to my departure that I would embark on this journey alone. Not because I was meeting someone there or couldn’t find a friend in my circle to go, but because I needed to do this alone.
We spend our entire lives in the company of someone else. From birth to 18 you spend a large majority of your time with your family and the rest with your friends. Post-teenage years you broaden that network and it becomes friends, family, fellow college students, and co-workers.
As I get older I begin to acknowledge that my 20s are probably going to be my last years of being alone. One day I will get married and have beautiful children, and the only alone time I will get is when I lock myself in a random closet or take naps in my car.
Which is why I took this opportunity to accomplish one of my biggest fears and largest dreams, touring Paris, France.
It was better than a dream. Paris was like being a part of Sex and The City only 10x better. Exceeding expectations, I would find myself spending the week getting lost.
But not the lost you expect an American tourist to experience being in a foreign country for the first time and unable to speak the language. The kind of lost you tell your kids about. The kind of lost that turns adventures into life-long stories.
I walked the historically stone paved streets, watching as career women stood around elegantly taking a drag from their cigarette while they talk politics, life, career, and their relationships. An addicting transportation back into simpler times, I did not want to leave.
Like a kid in a candy store for the first time, I wandered the city amazed at what had been laid before me.
Everything from the Eiffel Tower to the Champs-Élysées lined with luxury stores and local dining to the homes of local residents as I sipped espressos and held deep conversations with strangers while sitting next to a fire place. Paris was worth the risk.
Le Louvre Museum Travel Blog
Black and White Eiffel Tower
During raclette dinners and endless bottles of wine, I learned something about myself. Paris taught me that I am capable of anything. But not the fake capable we tell ourselves, the “real-life-make-it-happen” capable that turns plans into action and action into success.
I wanted Paris and I got Paris.
I wanted to meet new people, and I met beautiful souls in the most unsuspecting of places.
I wanted to volunteer more and I got to spend an afternoon serving those in need.
I wanted to fear less and in doing so I became fearless.
Before coming into 2017, I promised myself I would stop making excuses and start doing more in order to talk less.
In allowing myself to get lost, I was able to find pieces to a more beautiful picture.
Where will fear take you in 2017?