A Weekend in Paris

Paris is known as the most romantic city in the world. So who better to go with, than 3 of your best friends? Who needs men anyway…

After getting too full on New Years Eve and not actually making it out on the town, we decided to just spontaneously book a 4 day trip. I use spontaneous loosely. I think the conversation went something along the lines of, ” I really need a holiday” “I really want to go to Paris” “ok, lets go?” and BAM. It was booked.

I have to say, the Eurostar is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever used. 2 hours and you’re in the middle of France. I still can’t get my head around travelling to another country on a train. (It’s the simple things…) But it is 100% easier than going to an airport and wasting your entire day just travelling.

Once we got into Paris, it was time to find out hotel. Cue getting extremely lost. After a brief walk around the corner, we thought we had hit the jackpot, but turns out, it was just a different hotel by the same chain. Following the directions we had just been given by a lovely French man, we ended up going the wrong way and not having a clue where the hell we were. Turns out, Paris is a hell of a lot bigger than we had all previously thought.

Now, the good thing about Paris, is its metro. A short ride on that, and we were at our hotel, if you could even call it that. It was more of a hostel, but to be honest, we couldn’t complain for £50 each for 3 nights. It was very basic. I wouldn’t recommend it for a romantic weekend, but it is perfect for backpacking, or a short stay.

We stayed in the Lumiere district, which is a little north from the center, but like I mentioned earlier, the metro was a godsend.

10 metro tickets are only 13e but they are worth it. If you think you can walk from one place to another, you might as well think again. Nothing is near each other! But like we discovered on our second day, you can also get various tours on tuk tuks, which are brilliant. A local guy will take you around Paris and point out places you will not find when you’re aimlessly wandering, and for 15e it was totally worth it. But make sure you have change for tips. Turns out, they getting pretty angry if you don’t tip them at the end!

We were lucky in the sense of we managed to cram everything we wanted to see in 3 days. This was mainly down to having a written itinerary before we had even left. Who doesn’t love a bit of organisation?

Day 1 – We grabbed a little lunch in a small cafe, then we made our way to the Moulin Rouge. If we have 200e, we would’ve seen a show, but you know, we hadn’t actually won the lottery, so we strolled around the district.

A little sleezy, but good fun nonetheless. We grabbed a map, and made our way down a little alley, purchased some macaroons, looked at some beautiful chocolate sculptures and found the Sacré Cœur. Its worth climbing what feels like a thousand steps to see what is inside. It was beautiful. Its worth taking note that you cannot take photos inside, and beggars are everywhere. Literally, everywhere. There was no escaping them bad boys! After a little epiphony, it was time to walk up more steps to Montmartre, to see some amazing street artists and have an overpriced hot chocolate.

Day 2 – We woke up early with massive expectations of it not to rain and headed towards the  Centre Pompidou to see some paintings. Its not  my cup of tea, but after going in with an open mind, I really enjoyed it. Plenty of original Picasso paintings in there, along with some modern pieces which really broke the morning up.

After we had exhausted the museum, we headed towards Bastille, along the Sienne. We stuffed our faces with delicious crepes and continued walking to the Notre DameIt’s a long walk. Inside was breathtaking. It is huge and quite unbelievable. We were quite lucky to see a French service and their choir. None of us are even mildly religious, but we sat there for a good hour!

Being lazy, we then took the tuk tuk ride to the Louvre. We didn’t go in as we had read it can take 8 days to see absolutely everything! We gazed at the mini Arc de Triomphe, and could only just see the Eiffle Tower. Whilst waiting for nightfall to see the lightshows, we walked around the district and grabbed some food before heading back.

Day 3 – This was our last full day and the weather looked promising. Turns out if was flipping freezing though. We headed back to the Louvre, to walk towards the Champs Elysee. Once again, such a long old walk! The park is beautiful however and kept in fantastic condition, but hopped in another tuk tuk and admired all the amazing shops, before reaching the Arc de Triomphe. 

After a few photos, it was time to look at everything, and literally everything, we couldn’t afford! Walking down one side, and back up the other, we headed back to the Arc, to climb to the top for amazing views of Paris. Then it was time to climb the Eiffle Tower. It was amazing! I’ve honestly never seen anything like that before. Everyone tells you that it is huge, but seeing is believing. Not a great lover of heights, I did well to make it to the second floor, even though I held a ticket for the summit, I just couldn’t do it. Vertigo got the best of me, but seeing the amazing photos from my friends made me proud of them to even get in that little lift! We then had dinner at a lovely little restaurant just around the corner from the tower and waited for nightfall. The light show was stunning. It was worth waiting for.

If you ever go to Paris, make sure that is the one thing you do see. Oh and climb to the top and don’t be a wimp like me. But getting to the second floor does mean I get to tick it off my bucket list! Woohoo!

So that was Paris for me in a nutshell. The one concern I had before leaving, was about how I was going to budget as everyone says it is expensive. I had 160e for 3 days and it was plenty!

My eurostar ticket was £66 for a return from London St Pancras and the Ibis Budget was £179 for 3 nights. So it is possible to visit Paris on a budget!

Everyone Needs A Bucket List

Northern-Lights-Winter

Over the last few weeks I’ve been so focused on planning my trips to Paris, America and Thailand that got me thinking, I haven’t physically written down my bucket list. And I guess I should do that before I leave the country, so I know what I’m partly going to work towards.

So here it is. So far anyway. I’ll keep updating it the more I think about it, and post about it when I’ve completed one.

‘The’ Bucket List

  1. Visit at least one country per continent.
  2. Skydive.
  3. Get my diving license.
  4. Dive in the Seychelles
  5. Island hop Fiji
  6. Get my lifeguard qualification!!!
  7. Go on safari
  8. Ride an elephant.
  9. Teach English as a foreign language (haven’t set my heart on a destination quite yet)
  10. Ride in a hot air balloon
  11. Swim with dolphins
  12. Drive on route 66
  13. Gamble in Vegas (and party harrrrrd)
  14. Learn to surf
  15. Then teach surfing
  16. Road trip the USA (in planning)
  17. Just get on a plane and go
  18. Go tubing
  19. Drink tequila in Mexico
  20. Work a season in Canada
  21. Learn to ski/go skiing
  22. White water raft
  23. Lay on Koh Samui beach
  24. Go to a full moon party
  25. Go tubing
  26. Ride an overnight train
  27. Bungee jump
  28. Camp out at the Grand Canyon
  29. Inter-rail Europe
  30. Walk the Inca Trail
  31. Visit the Rio carnival
  32. New York for New Year
  33. Get over my horrific fear of snakes. (never going to happen)
  34. Husky ride for charity challenge
  35. Keep a travel blog
  36. Go to the top of the Eiffle Tower
  37. See the Northern Lights

Ok, so this is all I have for now, but its enough to keep me busy and get planning. Whats on your bucket list?

Here Goes…

So, if anyone had walked up to me 6 months ago and said “you’re about to get your dream job & you’ll see the world doing it”, I would have laughed at them right in their face and told them where to get off.

You see, six months ago, I was aimlessly wandering around Turkey with a lethal raki cocktail  in one hand, trying to hold onto my dignity in the other whilst trying to hide all emotions possible, all with 2 of my closest friends. Because in all honesty, my life was heading no where. I had just turned 22, seen all my friends graduate, buy houses, settle down and get engaged. Then there was me. Still working in the same dead end job I had when I turned 15. Already having turned down a job in Majorca with Thomas Cook when I was 19, I knew something had to change. But it took a week of talking to people I hadn’t met before, and quite frankly, was never going to keep in touch with, to talk me into one thing. Getting out of a dead end town.

As soon as I headed back home, I was on another plane. This time to Spain to once again clear my head & to not make any rational decisions. But after another week of fun in the sun, I realised I wanted my next summer to be spent abroad doing something I loved, getting paid for it and seeing whatever I could before my bank had a meltdown.

Which brings me back to today. I have 14 working weeks left in the UK. Thats 70 days. 70 days until I fly out to Washington DC and attempt to start something new. Something which I should’ve done when I was 18 years old and when it was quite literally, handed to me on a plate. But being young and in ‘love’ apparently changes your mindset quite drastically.

So in 70 days time I need to be ready. Mentally, and physically. Of course there are obstacles in the way. Passing my first aid course is one, along with learning how to lifeguard is most certainly another. But i’m sure with a fresh determined outlook, I can make this happen. In fact, I will make this happen. Already sacrificing social time with my oldest friends, to swim laps of the pool until I can’t stand, and trying to live off £20 a week – probably the hardest thing  I’ve ever done in my life – it will all be worth it. But if it wasn’t for the most amazing, understanding friends you could ever ask for that realise what you want to do in life, I probably would have never logged on & filled out an application form. And who knows, after all this, I will have had the summer of my life, worked harder than I’ve ever worked & met some amazing people.