March 16th, 2022
I was supposed to write this blog on March 14th, but I wanted to wait until I returned from France before sharing my experience. On March 16th, we landed at Brest, a tiny town in France. We stayed until the 19th. The majority of the students chose to travel to Paris, which was around 5 hours away. I was considering traveling since who doesn’t want to visit Paris? I took into account all of the factors. I had a field class for a documentary class I’m taking on March 19th. That meant that if I decided to go to Paris, I would arrive on the 16th in the evening and return on the 18th in the afternoon, allowing me to be back in time for my field class on the 19th. How about two days in Paris? Yes, only two days, but after much consideration, I chose to go. Going to Paris has always been a dream of mine, and it was also financially viable because I didn’t spend any money in Portugal (my last port) because I was quarantined the entire time. Furthermore, while Brest was lovely, it was a very small town.
I had been exploring with friends in other ports, but I wanted to make the most of every single hour in Paris. My friends prefer to go with the flow; they don’t have a bucket list of things to do in France, however I do. As a result, I intended to do some solo travel to explore as many destinations as possible. I paid for two days in a hostel and brought a pack back with some of my belongings. I was both excited and nervous because I just had a single story about Parisians. I was told that if I didn’t speak French sometimes, they wouldn’t even bother looking at me while asking a question, so there I was, practicing the line “Exquiuse-Mua pagle vu angle?” for hours. The letter G intimidated me since it has a peculiar sound. When I arrived in Paris, I needed to buy metro tickets to get to my hostel. I asked the woman who helped me if she was nice. That made my heart sing with joy. Furthermore, when I was on the metro, I met this Colombian woman and we spoke for 25 minutes. She told me she had been in France for over ten years and had a son who had recently graduated from college. I mentioned that I was a member of Semester at Sea, a program that allows you to explore the world while getting college credits. She was fascinated by the concept; in under 25 minutes, we exchanged information, and I expanded my network. She also said that the concept of Parisians being mean is far from the truth. Paris is a very touristic city, but for locals, it’s a busy one. Tourists tend to ask questions, and people there are frequently in a hurry, so five minutes are critical while trying to get to work. It all made sense.
Overall, this experience made increased my confidence regarding traveling alone. I am very happy I meet very nice people. My adventure of two days is Paris was awesome.
(Down below you will see some pics of me starting my journey to Paris).