A story of firsts: solo travel in Paris
This is a story of firsts. My first day setting foot in Europe and the first day of my first ever solo travel adventure.
It was Paris. The Jules Ferry Hostel.
I arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport early in the morning and promptly lost my camera. I realized this on the train just before it left the station. I jumped up to go find it and a guy jumped up as well and offered to help. I didn’t find my camera but I did discover how friendly some French men are. To help me overcome my trauma I was offered a few hours in a hotel room – with him of course. I politely declined.
I made it into the city and found the Jules Ferry Hostel near Place de la Republique. I checked in, stowed my stuff and went down to the common room – the best place to meet people when you travel solo.
It didn’t take long. In no time I met a guy from New York City and we headed out to explore Paris. We hung out from noon to midnight. We started at the Centre Pompidou and then went to the Louvre to see Mona of course. We tripped along the Champs-Elysee and around the Eiffel Tower.
Somewhere around 9-9:30pm we headed back to the hostel for the night. On route we passed the Paris Opera House. It was intermission and the street was filled with people. As they all entered for the second act we slipped in with them, went to the top balcony and watched the performance. It’s been almost 25 years so I can’t tell you what we saw — just that it was like a dream.
When we finally made it back to the hostel we sat across the street for a while recounting all that we had done. It had been extraordinary. And then, like bookends to my day, came the invitation. Again, I declined.
French or not, the men in Paris are very friendly.