This post is going to be quick and rough because I’m heading to Paris tomorrow and I’ve got a lot to do. I’m beyond excited, but I’m also nervous because I haven’t traveled much lately and I’m taking this voyage on my own. I’ve been quite happy to stay close to home during the pandemic, but six weeks ago I found myself with the strong urge to go somewhere special and soon! My husband can’t get away and it was too late recruit a like-minded friend. So, Paris here I come, without a plus one!
I won’t be completely on my own. I’m joining a writers workshop led by the delightful Patricia Tennison called Paris Cafe Writing. Style Challengers co-founder Laura Hine and I did the program ten years ago, sharing a chic apartment in the Marais district. The experience cemented our friendship and continues to inspire us. But ten years later, post-pandemic and flying solo, I’m feeling both more hesitant and more ambitious about the return trip.
“I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”Amelia Earhart
I’ve been carefully planning what to pack, practicing my rusty French, checking the weather (mild with some rain) and scanning my guidebook. Yesterday it occurred to me that while fretting over my to-do list, I was missing an important step. I need to set my intentions for the trip. What do I want to experience, learn, try? How do I hope my week in France makes me feel? What can I gain from going by myself?
So, I made myself a list and I’m sharing it here. During this trip, I want to:
- Travel with confidence, knowing I have the ability and resources to navigate the airport, taxi, customs, Metro, hotel and any mishaps that come my way. I don’t want to waste a minute of my trip worrying or feeling anxious about getting around. I’m a capable woman!
- Feel great the entire week. I want to feel healthy, rested, energized, comfortable and, of course, stylish. Travel can be exhausting. I want to make sure I take good care of myself so I don’t poop out.
- Explore different areas of city and use my curiosity and interests to discover charming markets, gardens, museums, shops and cafes on my own.
- Speak French as much as possible to improve my paltry conversation and comprehension skills and have genuine interactions with locals.
- Jump start my writing, improve my storytelling and commit to a project I’m excited about going forward.
- Connect with my fellow writers, learn from them and enjoy their company.
- Return feeling inspired, invigorated and motivated to write, travel and take on more challenges in the future.
I’ll let you know how I fare with all these goals when I get back! ( And I’ll do a packing post after I see how my choices hold up.) In the meantime, follow me on Facebook or Instagram, because I’m going to be posting lots of photos. And if you have any solo travel tips, please share them!
Wish me bonne chance!