Since sharing my plans to spend three months in Paris I have been overwhelmed by comments, emails and support - something I’m forever grateful for. And with just over 8 weeks to go until I fly to Paris for three months - gosh, it’s come around so quickly. I thought I would share a little about my plans while I’m there, but also what I have planned so far. I have never been one to over plan when I travel, I’m more of the mindset that if you have enough money to look after yourself, a place to stay when you arrive, your credit card, passport and travel insurance then everything else will naturally fall into place. Some of my friends panic at the idea of not having everything planned, but I know that over planning sends me into a panic. So I tend to err more to the side of “oh, we’ll just see how it goes”. That said though, I have been making a few plans here and there, and my list of places to visit is growing each day as I really do want to make the most of my time while there.
One of the many lessons that I have learnt since last year is that absolutely nothing in life is guaranteed - no matter how well you plan for it - so I’m trying to be as ‘zen’ and calm about this year and just see what happens. The thought sometimes sends me into a wild panic as I ‘should know what I’m going to do with my life’ - but to be perfectly honest, I have no idea. And as scary as it is, it’s ok too. But for now, the big plans of life can wait, as April truly can’t arrive soon enough - I still can’t believe that I’m going to have this wonderful opportunity to follow my dreams and be in a city I love for three months. I have shared a few questions that I get asked the most at the bottom of this post - but of course, if there is anything else that you’d like to know please don’t hesitate to ask. Or of course, if you have any tips and tricks for Paris I’d love to hear. x
Where are you staying?
I’m planning on staying in Paris for the whole three months - I have travelled through Europe before and as beautiful as it is, I really just want to know what it’s like to be in once city for a while. Of course I have no doubt trips will pop up which is nice and something to look forward to. For the first two weeks though, I’m staying in an apartment in Monmartre that I found on Airbnb (and one I plan to share after I have left). It’s really great at everything is there for you, furniture, etc and all of the tax and bills are included into the price too. I am then going to visit friends in Munich afterwards for a week or so, and then after that go back to Paris where there is the possibility of staying in a friends apartment, or I find another place. I haven’t really planned too much as I want to be flexible enough if anything changes.
Do I speak the language?
Ahhh, not really, but I am learning. I studied French in school - but haven’t used it or learnt much since I was in my early teens - I do regret not leaning more while I was at school, but at the same time there wasn’t really much benefit of knowing French when you grew up in a very small farming/mining town in Central Queensland. I of course learnt a little here and there while in Paris, but I have been using an app called Duolingo and Babbel to learn as much as possible before I go. It’s amazing how much I have been able to learn with using these apps for 15-30min day. But, while I was in Paris last year I found it really easy to get around without knowing the language a great deal - almost everyone knows a little english and with enough time, patience and many sign language conversations, you end up understanding what is trying to be said.
Do you know anyone there?
A few people, but mostly no. I have been incredibly lucky and so so fortunate that through Made From Scratch (and my time there last year) I have been able to meet some incredible people - some are kindly helping me out with potential places to stay, my phone plans, etc, and some are simply planning on taking me to their favourite place for coffee or wine. Knowing that I already have a few connections there really does help so much, and I’m already so grateful for how kind and supportive they have been helping me plan my time there.
What are you planning to take for three months?
Very very little. I learnt the art of packing lightly while in my early twenties I (before we were married) while we backpacked through out South East Asia, India, Nepal, Europe, England and America - for two years I traveled with a 45L backpack, and from that learnt that you actually need very little. Of course, I won’t be moving around as much this time, and I have a suitcase (which makes me feel very grown up as I’ve never owned one before) so I’ll be able to pack well, and take things that are nice to wear, not just something that has to be practical enough to travel in for months on end. I do plan on sharing a post about what I’m planning to take, so be sure to keep an eye out for it.
What are you planning to do while in Paris for three months?
This is the question I get asked the most. And oddly every time I answer it, I feel terribly guilty about it (which is silly, as I know I shouldn’t) - but all I plan to do while in Paris is ‘be’. I want to learn what it’s like to just be me for a while, take the time to be comfortable with my own company and regain my confidence. I do plan to keep working on Made From Scratch while in Paris, and I have some really exciting projects/ideas that I want to develop while I’m there. But at the same time I’m also very happy if all I end up doing is wandering the streets, visiting places I’ve never been, going back to places I have already been and spending a lot of time writing and reading in cafes then that sounds absolutely perfect. I am of course planning on attending a lot of baking and cooking classes - which I will be sharing with you. I desperately need time away, and for myself where I’m able to stop and really think about what I want for my life. I suppose, as the French say, I’ll be a flaneur.
Are you planning on working and how are you sorting out your visa?
I’d love to try and work a little while in Paris, but I will mostly be focusing on Made From Scratch and hopefully will continue to take on new social media clients while there. With the Visa, I will be on a tourist visa, which allows me to stay in Europe for three months. My three months in Paris is being treated as my ‘trial run’ in a way - I want to know what it’s like to live there, make connections and see if it’s right for me before thinking about staying there for longer. I do have a sneaky feeling that I won’t want to leave once my three months is up - but that’s something to work out when the time comes.
To be honest I don’t know, I really can’t put my finger on it, but for as long as I can remember I have always loved Paris. Even before I first went there in 2009 I was always drawn to it’s culture, food, language and way of life. I can still vividly remember the first day I went to Paris and I simply remember feeling so alive, at peace and oddly at home. Something shifts inside me every time I go to Paris, and to be honest, I really like who I am when I’m there. So when I started mulling the idea over of spending a few months away, Paris was the only place I wanted to go. It just feels right.
A friend also kindly said to me; ‘you’ve been through the worst and have had to deal with more things than most, now is the time for you to do something just for you. Do something that you have always wanted to do but have never done for what ever reason. Be selfish for the fist time. And do it without worrying if anyone else thinks it’s a good idea’. It’s kind, but forceful nudges like that really do help push through the fear and ‘what if’s’ and simply follow your dreams.
Are you scared?
Yes. I don’t really know what I’m scared of as I know I will be ok. But I am really nervous - this is the first time in my life where it’s just been me, and that I will be traveling to another part of the world alone. As nerve-wracking as it is, it’s also equally exciting as I get to make all the plans and do want I like - I’m slowly starting to see how ‘freeing’ it is to not have to work to someone else’s schedule and comprise your dreams because of them. It’s odd, as much as I desperately wish I was doing this with the person who once loved me, I am also really looking forward to doing it by myself - and proving to myself that I’m capable and brave enough to follow through on a dream that does scare me, but one I would deeply regret if I didn’t give it a go. I’m the best person ever at talking myself out of doing something, my friends and family know this about me, and they have been beyond kind and supportive of my decision to move to Paris for three months. Plus they also refuse to let me give up on my dream, their love and support truly is the greatest gift they could ever ever give.
Of course, I am planning to share a lot more about Paris, how my move goes, what I’m doing and learning on here. But if you have any questions or would like to get in touch and find out a little more, please don’t hesitate to send me an email. I truly do love hearing from you and if there is anything at all I’m able to help with, please just ask.