Paris wasn’t like
the movies, it was better

Sipping champagne, eating croissants, wearing striped shirts with red berets, buying baguettes, smoking cigarettes, and falling in love under the Eiffel tower. This is what movies and tv shows imagine Paris, the city of love, to be like.

Since moving to London, I’ve gotten to know the city without it’s tourism veil. Beyond the tourist attractions, red buses and phone booths, London is buzzing with people from all walks of life, many moved here on a dream, some in search of a fresh start, and many are here just trying to survive. It’s raw and real, everything and anything. This experience has begun to wash away my preconceptions about other major cities. When I had the opportunity to visit my friend Aurelia in Paris, I was excited to see what the city of love is truly like.

Just a few hours in, and we were taking a midnight stroll around the Eiffel tower. Which I must say is truly breathtaking in real life, especially at night. Walking around it, I felt this intense feeling of romance. I took a few moments to discuss (aka over-analyse) this emotion. Was there a romantic vibe because that’s what we’re supposed to feel in Paris? Or, was it truly embedded in the city? My spiritual side questioned whether it was because so many people who are in the peak of their love or are rekindling love, visit this city, their energetic vibrational frequency is of a higher love, and this has impacted the collective energy in Paris? Or, is it a combination of things like the architecture being delicate, the foods being particularly sexy, the music, the way the language is constructed? Whatever it is, I felt it. I felt the love.  

One of the biggest unfortunate misconceptions about Paris is that the people are snobby and judgemental. My experience was that they were very friendly and I didn’t feel judged at all. I also felt they’re more straight-forward than British people. Brits have this quality where they can be overly polite, vague, and proper, which can sometimes translate into being dis-honest, covering true emotions with politeness, and pretentious. I felt the people I came across in Paris were more direct, making them seem down-to-earth.

The food

While every meal I had was delicious, it was really difficult to find vegetarian options. I may have been looking in the wrong places but I did get the sense that meat was still the first choice for many. The croissants were exactly how you’d expect, and the wine was even better. The coffee was unreal and I had to splurge on Ladurée, because when in Paris.

The fashion

Aurelia took me to her favourite vintage spots and I was very impressed. I especially liked the Kilo Shop where I found a vintage Hugo Boss blazer, a striped shirt (when in Paris), and a vintage turquoise bodysuit.

Each day we have a few places in mind to visit but we didn’t have a strict schedule, which is my favourite style of travel. We spent a lot of time catching up as it had been years since we last saw each other. We have the type of friendship where we could not speak for months and not see each other for years, yet pick right back up where we left off.

No city is perfect — only our image of it is. But to me, perfect is boring, and it’s part of the reason why I held off for so long to see Paris. Now that I’ve been and I’ve seen it for myself, I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Being so close to London, I’ll definitely be making more trips there and seeing more of the city, beyond the sights and tourist attractions. There’s nothing more beautiful than authenticity, imperfection, and character, and to me, Paris embodies the essence of love, simple delights, and natural beauty.


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