Yes, it's true. I am no longer a Parisite...I'm back in that place to which all roads lead. Living across from a stadium instead of the Jardin du Luxembourg, down the street from Byrne Dairy instead of Notre Dame. Still, I'm happy to be home.
I didn't think it'd turn out this way, but whenever I see the Tour Eiffel on the front of my so-called travel journal, I feel a tiny stab of homesickness. People ask me what I miss most about Paris, and I either stutter and sputter or say something prepared. But there's no one word, not even one sentence, that can describe Paris and put it into perspective as efficiently as being there. It's beautiful. Expensive. Full of baguettes. Historic. A pedestrian paradise. Like a trip back in time, even if you're not watching Minuit à Paris. (Oh, and by the way, a friend of mine saw Midnight in Paris and saw the theatre she was sitting in in the movie! One of many good Paris stories.)
I just can't do Paris justice when I write about it.
I'll tell you one thing, though. Nothing beats walking five steps out of your chez-moi and going into a café, or crossing the street and entering a garden filled with statues and flowers, or going up to the roof and looking out over the most beautiful city in the world.
What I miss most about being in Paris is...being in Paris.
What I DON'T miss is how expensive everything is there. What I REALLY DON'T MISS are flying and missing my family. I'm totally okay with not flying for another year— although, being the enormous travel glutton that I am, I'll probably change my mind in a few months. But it couldn't be nicer to see the people I love again. I just wish my friends here could have met my Paris friends, many of whom are going home themselves, back to Britain, Slovakia, Germany, Turkey and...Albany, Long Island....Connecticut...you know, all the exotic lands. Just like where I live.
So what else is there to say? If you can go abroad for a semester, do it. Don't think about it. Just do it. And if you go to Paris, check out the Musée d'Art Moderne and the Absinthe museum for me. AND the aquarium at Trocadero, AND the Bois de Boulogne, because I didn't get to go there either. Don't try to go everywhere and do everything. Find the things that sound the most fun (or in my case, the most delicious) and meet some people worth keeping in touch with for the rest of your life.
I was lucky enough to.
And when you're in Paris, say hi for me. Tell them I'll be back soon.