I was reading someone else’s blog posts about solo travelling and came across and app called TravelMate. It’s specifically geared toward people who are travelling alone and want to meet locals or fellow travelers to explore with. Sounds sketchy, right? But desperate times called for desperate measures. I wanted someone to explore with because no matter how great travelling solo is, social interaction is necessary at some point. So I signed up. You can put your itinerary on there and a little bit about yourself and it comes up with people who are going to your destination at the same time and locals. So, this guy messaged me and he was coming to Paris from London for a few days and asked if I wanted to go to the catacombs with him. I hesitantly and enthusiastically (that doesn’t sound possible, but trust me. It is.) responded with a yes and we set a time. For all of you parents out there who are worried: don’t worry. I set up a place to meet him in public and didn’t give him any information about where I lived or anything. I can be smart sometimes lol. So we met and were extremely comfortable right off the bat. It’s fun to meet people from different countries because you always have something to talk about no matter what: differences between countries. So we chatted and waited in the freakin long line to get into the catacombs. It was cheap though… so worth it. The catacombs are so strangely beautiful. It’s literally heaps of dead skulls and bones… but when you think about it… these were actual people. It isn’t some haunted house with plastic bones. It’s an eerie place because these were REAL people who are now just skulls. Tip: talk about ghosts while you’re in there. Perfect topic right there. Disneyland Paris was randomly brought up in conversation in between ghost stories, so we made last minute plans for me to take the day off and planned to go the next day! That was crazy. One, someone actually went along with my last minute plan ideas. Two, it was a complete (but cool) stranger. Three, when we got there, we got in for FREE. TO BOTH PARKS. A woman was standing in line to talk to the front desk workers and she gave us two free park hoppers because they couldn’t use them for some reason. We went with it without asking questions. So, if that doesn’t say “great day” I don’t know what does. We rode almost everything (except Indiana Jones was closed L) and got starbucks!!! PLUS Tower of Terror is still there, so I got to ride that again… probably my favorite part of my day. We ate yummy baguettes and cookies and had a magical Disney day lol.
For those of you wondering… Disneyland vs. Disneyland Paris: I like Disneyland better. I know, that’s very controversial, but it’s just my personal opinion. Disneyland just has a more magical vibe about it. BUT Disneyland Paris has a Ratatouille land which serves alcohol and crepes and everything French you can imagine, plus a really fun ride. It also has Toy Story land and a Pirate land with boats and caves to explore. SO there are really great things about Disneyland Paris, but Disneyland will always have a special place in my heart… I might be biased though…
It’s a strange thing experiencing new places with new people, but it’s also great. For one, you actually have someone to take pictures of you lol. Two, you have someone new and interesting to talk to. Three, they don’t have some weird preconceived notion of who you are, and it’s fun to talk about what they think of you. And sometimes you might get lucky and find a friend, like I did! We’re keeping in touch, and I’m hoping to see him when I go to London. So I would really suggest trying something like this if you’re travelling and want someone to tag along! Especially if it’s a fun touristy place! But still… be careful J
Next blog… Belgium!
LOL you guys. The idea of going to foreign places by myself literally used to scare the living bejesus out of me.. It confused me. I see a ton of performers on vacation by themselves or college kids on break from school going to foreign countires by themselves. Why would someone want to go somewhere so beautiful by yourself!? That's terrifying! I was literally talking to my mom about this like a week ago, and now I’m blogging about the opposite of what I was telling her lol. Life changes quickly. Well… now I’m learning how BEAUTIFUL travel can be when you’re flying solo. Also… I have no choice so like… it’s that or nothing.
Reasons why travelling alone can be dandy:
Those are just a few things out of SO many. I’m sure I’ll talk about it more in a later post. But, I highly recommend taking a small trip by yourself and having some time with yourself. It can do crazy things.
Do any of you have experiences travelling alone? Thoughts?
An American In Paris
Get it? Also: cue California by Joni Mitchell throughout this entire post please.
For the first time since I got here, I went into Paris today!!!!! We were only there for a few hours, but it did me well. I learned the metro system and had the opportunity to explore by myself (FYI New Yorkers… Paris metro is SO much easier). It was just the couple I’m living with and me. They made me try and navigate the metro system on my own, and I did it! Except for the time I tried to take us down an up escalator. For some reason I literally have a terrible time distinguishing between the two… my friends can vouch for me. I’ve tried to go the wrong way on an escalator plenty of times. We went to an area where they had to run some errands, so I was let loose on my own. I ate lunch and ordered by myself for the first time (it wasn’t hard… they spoke English don’t get too excited lol)! After I ate, I walked to the Opera and sat on the steps just soakin’ the city and its people in for a while (let’s be honest though… I was tired of walking and needed to sit). After, I walked down to Place Vendome and to the park right next to it. The park was beautiful, and so different than American parks. There was mostly gravel/dirt and no grass which was strangely beautiful. There were restaurants in between gardens, and little food stands. There were two big fountains on either side of the park with chairs around them, so I sat in one and read my book for a while (Tales of the City by: Armistead Maupin… check it out). While I was sitting there I heard AMERICANS and AUSTRALIANS, and let me tell you… hearing English on the streets is a joyous thing. I didn’t understand how alone you could feel while walking the streets and not understanding anything… Joni Mitchell was right you guys. SO sitting in a park in Paris, France (get it?) I was rejuvenated. And walking out of the park, I held the gate open for a couple carrying a stroller up-stairs, and they said “thank you” and I got way too excited to have Americans speak to me.
I’m gonna be real honest with you guys… these past few weeks have been hard. I haven’t gotten into a schedule yet, so I’ve been feeling really lonely and in need of some joy. I woke up today the saddest I had been so far. I talked to my mom because I love her and I talk to her about everything, and I was telling her how much I wished I was home. But, going to Paris made me be excited to be here all over again. So I can already tell you guys: this is going to be a journey stock-full of ups and downs. But I am here for it and I hope you guys are too.
Keep contacting me, you guys! I love hearing from you, and would love any travel suggestions in Paris/Europe in general! Thanks for reading J
Hi friends! I'm 20 and don't know what I'm doing with my life, so I'm embracing life full-force and moving to France for a bit.