“Paris is Always a Good Idea” – Audrey Hepburn
(This is a post from my first travel blog 22.07.2013)
My 19th Birthday. Another year has passed and what an incredible, life changing year it has been.
I cannot actually believe that this time last year I was sitting in a classroom stressing over exams.
From finishing school, smashing the HSC, to backpacking around Europe and the UK, relocating my life to London and working 2 jobs… this past year sure has been the year of change.
So where else would one want to spend their 19th birthday on the 19th of July, but, yes of course… Paris. My city.
My Clarendon Family and I partied London style, complete with a beautiful cake, friends, free drinks and catching the first tube home. I am so thankful that I could celebrate my birthday with such incredible people!
Alas, I was off to Paris on the Eurostar (which I would highly recommend).
After some inconvenient money issues, metro issues and meeting issues, I was finally reunited with my girl, Jess who I’d be staying with.
Our meeting was plucked from the scenes of a dramatic romance film where two lovers are finally reunited. We ran and held eachother in a strong embrace as we both cried, so happy to see my best friend.
After a rollercoaster of an evening, I crashed hard. The last thoughts I had as an 18 year old was WOW.
I awoke to the smell of coffee and croissants. I was covered in colourful balloons and Jess brought me breakfast in bed, Parisienne Style. We listened to music and I opened my beautiful letters from loved ones. A knock at the door startled me and Jess had a smirk on her face. In walked a cute French boy with a delivery from Piere Herme. In the parcel was an ice cold bottle of luxury champagne and a divine selection of Frances finest macaroons from my family. Even though they couldn’t be with me, I knew their hearts were. We had a beautiful lunch at a local Japanese restaurant (where else would you go in Paris?). I braved the sweltering heat and wondered into Montmartre to my favourite place in Paris, the Sacre Coeur. It really is the most stunning view in the whole of the city. Forget about la Tour Eiffel or d’Arc de Triomphe, the Sacre Coeur is to Paris as a smile is to Audrey Hepburn.
I lost myself in the backstreets, away from all the tourists, venturing through winding little streets, past a vineyard, along Rue de Saint-Oeun until I passed a little jewellers. A golden watch caught my eye and after all, it was my birthday. I chatted to the lovely French owner (in French!) and he even gave me a discount especially for my birthday.
Now, I realise i usually theme my entries around coffee, however, Paris in the middle of summer is no time to be drinking coffee, because we all know, Parisiennes don’t sweat. Instead, I traded my hot sticky coffees in for beautiful, decadent, happy hour cocktails. We sat out on the sidewalk of the brasserie, and watched the world go by whilst devouring a delicious cheese platter and multiple cocktails.
I honestly had such a beautiful birthday! The only thing that could have made it better would be if my family had been there with me, but I assure you that my European family made my day such a beautiful one.
The rest of my escape to Paris was spent relaxing, wondering the streets of the city and experiencing Jess’ Parisienne, amazing lifestyle . Jess took me to an extravagant cabaret show la Nouvelle Eve and then to a club to indulge in free drinks. We also witnessed history, seeing the final stage of le Tour de France whilst having ice cream and trying to escape the blistering sun.
Before I knew it, my birthday weekend had come to an end and it was time to head back home to london.
As I sat on the Eurostar, staring out the window, I reflected on the past year and how much my life has truly changed, all the incredible people I’ve met, all the amazing things I’ve seen and done and all the memories I now have.
I’ve changed so much, but I believe for the best. I look at things and people differently now, and see obstacles and challenges I can overcome. Don’t get me wrong, the past 7 months have not been easy and I still get worried, stressed and scared. But I think as long as you embrace all the good things in your life and focus on those, with a little support and encouragement from your loved ones, with a cocktail, a coffee, a sad movie and some chocolate, you can overcome anything.
I’ve had a birthday and life experiences I’ll never forget, making me think about what the next year will bring.
But now I can firmly agree with Miss Audrey Hepburn that Paris is ALWAYS a good idea.