I said ‘Yes’! I couldn’t wait! I had never been to Paris, but oh I knew about Paris and I was going to be in Paris, France on the day that [romantic] love is celebrated by most people around the world! How did a girl get so lucky? ❤
When I was invited to go on this trip (well, I kind of-sort of, mistakenly invited myself. maybe? lol), I said ‘Yes’! This was shortly after I had made a new year’s resolution of some sorts that 2015 was going to be my year of travel and, by proxy, adventure. No over-thinking, no rationalizing, no making excuses. I was going to live in the moment. #yolo #youngandfree #foreveryoung. When there was an opportunity, I was going to take it.
It was just a normal January morning at work one day and my friend came over and said ‘Guess what?’ with a huge smile on her face. When someone comes to you at work, first thing in the morning, and says ‘guess what?’ you know it’s big! haha. Her big news was that she was going to Paris to visit one of her childhood friends whom she hadn’t seen in a really long time and before I could stop myself, I asked if I could go with her. Who does that???
When I found out the trip was going to be the next month, February, and we would be there on Valentine’s day too, I was beyond excited! I immediately started to research plane tickets, how to get a visa, etc.
It turned out, the nearest consulate was in Chicago, 4 hours drive from me. And I had to apply in person. New year’s resolution in mind, that didn’t slow me down. By the end of that week, I had gathered all the needed paperwork and was in Chicago for that interview. I had to get my bank statements, letter from my boss, ask for vacation time, set up travel insurance, research hotels and plane tickets, etc but I was unstoppable. The visa was going to take an average of 2 weeks to be approved and it was cutting it really close to departure date but I still went for it.
You see, opportunities like this don’t present themselves often at all. When else would I find someone who also wanted to go to Paris at the same time I was [kind of] available? I was not so keen on/comfortable with solo travel yet (not that I am the expert now or anything) so most of my trips were dependent on others in some way. I felt like I had hit the jackpot.
My pinterest game got heavier at that point. I started researching things to do, places to go, what and where to eat, etc while I was waiting for my passport to get back. However, I didn’t dare to actually buy plane tickets just in case my passport didn’t arrive on time. It was a nerve wracking 2 weeks, that’s for sure!
So my passport arrived, a day before scheduled departure. I ended up not spending Valentine’s day in Paris. It was disappointing, to say the least … but the good news was, I had the visa and I could go whenever I wanted within the next 6 months.
By that time, I had become bolder. I was going to go to Paris- travel companion or not. Lots of people did it everyday, I would be fine. I was going to go.
And then I experienced love in one of the most beautiful ways. I was talking to my sister and I told her about the Paris Valentine flop and she said ‘I will go with you’. Just as simple as that. I couldn’t believe it! She knew how much this trip meant to me and how excited I was about going. She knew it was all I had thought about for a long time, and she knew all I went through to get the visa. She knew about all my days waiting for the passport, constantly checking with me to see if it had arrived. She knew.
She said it would have to be when schools were on half term because her son was in school and that she would be bringing her kids with her and if I didn’t mind … Are you kidding me? Why would I mind?? I get to see my niece and nephew and sister and roam around the streets of Paris? Heck yes!
So we went. And then we went to the Netherlands too. And Belgium. It was a jolly good time full of amazing adventures (most of which will be posted on the blog at some point).
And here’s my awesome sister. This picture was taken in Paris outside Gare de Lyon train station.
I ❤ you sis!
For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten son, that whoever believeth in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.
Header Photo: Eiffel Tower, Paris. April 2015. Photo by O Thomas.