Friday, December 3, 2010

And the planning begins...

Do you remember when I told you that I was going to Paris to celebrate my 30th birthday? I haven't really talked about it since then. Not because I am not excited - mostly because it didn't feel real.

Sure, I had exchanged emails with the landlord in Paris and signed a lease for my amazing apartment, but it still didn't feel real.

Well as of yesterday, it feels real. Why? Because I finally bought my plane ticket! I had been watching flight prices for the past months but finally accepted the fact that the fare just wasn't going to go down. So I sucked it up and paid a bit more than I was hoping.

And now I feel like the planning can begin! Since I am returning to a city that I am very familiar with, I don't feel as much 'pressure' to plan it all out.

Last time I was in Paris, I had an excel spreadsheet with lists of things to do each day of the week (ahem, I am a bit anal).

This time around, I want to leave more time to wander the streets and see where the city takes me. I want to leave more time to sip coffee and read a book. I want to leave myself open to exploring museums that I stumble upon while walking around.

But there are a few things I am researching as they will require more planning! Here are a couple of things that I am hoping to do while I am on my trip:

  • See an opera or a ballet at Le Palais Garnier, most likely on Valentine's Day.
  • Take a day trip and tour the Beaches of Normandy. I think my late Grandfather would be proud of me for making that a part of my trip. Plus it's something I am super interested in seeing, especially after watching shows like Band of Brothers & Saving Private Ryan. It makes me sad that I won't be able to talk to him about this part of the trip.
  • Visit the Chateau de Versailles. I didn't get a chance to do this last time I was in Paris so I definitely plan on checking it out!

I am not sure what else I will do on this trip, but it really doesn't matter because I will be in my favorite city! And the great thing about traveling alone is that the trip is totally mine to plan. I get a lot of strange looks/comments when I tell people that I am traveling to Paris alone for a week, but I am really excited to have a week to myself (although I will really, really miss the Barrister).

What are your thoughts on solo travel? I've done trips alone in the past and really enjoy traveling alone. I know it's not for everyone, but when people don't approve or think it's odd, I wish they'd keep those thoughts to themselves! Sometimes I get tired of explaining why I enjoy solo travel!


Becky said...

I am so PUMPED for your trip! My dad's been to the beaches at Normandy and he said you simply stare at that hill and wonder how the hell it worked.

Jess said...

I was actually just thinking the other day that you hadn't mentioned your trip in a while. Congratulations on buying the ticket! Even though you had to pay a little more than you wanted, you know it's totally going to be worth it!!

I can't wait to see your pictures of Versailles. I was in Paris with my family when I was in high school. We'd made plans to go to Versailles, but we changed them at the last minute because things were just getting too crazy and busy. I still want to go there one day. It looks so beautiful!

Jess said...

Yay you! That's awesome.

I'd love to travel alone. Love to. To do what I want, when I want, no one else's needs to attend? Yeah. Let's make that my 35th birthday dream.

Mandy said...

Your trip is going to be amazing. I can't wait to hear more about it as plans fall into place and it gets closer.

I laughed out lough when I read that you had a spreadsheet of things to do and see last time. We are such opposites. This is why I love you. You are absolutely awesome

Gracie said...

I love your excel spreadsheet! I can see you doing it, too. I would love to take a solo trip, although I haven't yet (except for business) - it would be so nice to only do what I want to do. After I typed that I realized that sounded completely selfish! But it WOULD be nice!

Unknown said...

The thought of having time to walk and sit in a cafe to sip coffee in Paris sounds so fantastic. Versailles is on my must see list. I think being able to set one's own agenda is exciting!

Amber said...

You're going to have a beautiful, amazing time! It will be such a wonderful chance to get away and reflect on life! I'm so glad you're going to Versailles. It's amazing!!!

So excited for you :)

Kyla Roma said...

Congratulations on buying your ticket, that's amazing!! You're going to have such an amazing time :) I travel alone once a year to visit friends usually, and I always love it- even if it's not as big as going to paris alone. I think the idea of it is so romantic, so many possibilities! :)

KEM said...


I have been following your blog from afar for a while :) and today when i read about paris i couldnt help but comment. I also have a special place in my heart for paris. When i traveled there i went to normandy and to this day is one of the spiritual breathtaking places i have ever been, just thinking about it gives me the chills. You and i seem to have quite a few things in common i also read religiously. I would give anything to travel to paris again, however on a unemplyed teachers budget (i am just subbing now) it is not possible :)


J said...

Some day I would love to go to Normandy and Versailles! Hopefully! I would be so scared to go to Europe alone! I really have never traveled anywhere by myself, except for a short business trip a few years ago for work.

Goldilocksbuzz said...

That is amazing. I would love to do that some day!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

HOORAY! What a trip this will be ... I'm so very excited for you!

crystal said...

Yay, Im so excited for you!!! I think that exactly this sort of traveling is something that everyone should do at least once in their lives. Everything, from the adorable apartment to the lack of planning is absolutely perfect in my mind...particularly the fact that you are doing it alone! I think our society just has some odd preconceived notions about women (in particular) doing things alone. Im not really sure why? I think it is a very important thing to do, plus its just so fun and liberating!!
Anyways, you are going to have a blast! I can't wait to hear all about it :)

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I love it!! I have traveled alone a lot and it is great. You can do what you want, when you want, how you get the picture! The only thing I sometimes miss is a person to share exciting new and cool things with...but you can do that by blogging!

I love the catacombs! and the Pere Lachaise Cemetary! and if you haven't been to montmartre, you should go!! Its where all the starving artists like Van Gough used to hang out. I am sure that as an anal list maker, you probably already know this! I love organized people!

You are going to have a blast!

Abby said...

Yay to buying your tickets! It's REAL now! I'm so excited for you!

That sounds fabulous :) Like a dream.

I am going to live vicaroiusly through you on your travels. ;)

And on traveling solo? I admire you for doing that! That's awesome. Enjoy it! You get to be on YOUR schedule! You are going to have such a fabulous time.

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

That sounds so amazing, you are going to have the best time!

I traveled to Australia by myself and I really liked it actually- I thought the plane ride wasn't bad because I had no one to complain to so I just had to suck it up :) I made friends once I was there though so I wasn't really alone anymore.

However, I stayed in Dunedin for 4 days by myself while some of my guy friends traveled around a bit more (I had a bad cough and didn't trust that we wouldn't be up all night). It was actually so relaxing and I hold a special place in my heart for Dunedin now. I read Harry Potter books in coffee shops, did a few touristy things, went back to the coffee shop etc. It was wonderful :)

Now I mostly travel with Eric which I like because we usually agree on everything. Sometimes I hate traveling with others because I have to compromise too much and I feel like a vacation should just be all fun, no compromise haha.

So I think your trip is going to be awesome. The end. People in general should keep their thoughts to themselves.

Stephany said...

This is so exciting, Lisa! I've never ventured out of this country so it's something that definitely appeals to me. I'm not sure if I could solo travel, but it sounds like a crazy adventure so who knows? Maybe one day! :)

I can't wait to hear more about the trip as February draws closer.

Amy --- Just A Titch said...

I LOVE traveling alone. Love it. I'm so jealous of your Paris trip! Hoping to make one of my own as you know---can't wait to see the pictures!

Marlys said...

I am also excited for your trip to Paris! It has been fun to "travel with you" through your blogs and pictures. I haven't done much traveling so really enjoy reading about yours!

Unknown said...

I say....if it makes you happy do it! I would be scared to go alone, but that's me. I love Paris it is so peaceful. I can't wait to see your pics.

Jeanie said...

Well, first to answer your question, I love solo travel, so long as I feel safe and prepared. Or semi-solo, too. I always miss the folks I left behind and often wish they were with me to experience something. But it's nice to know I'm on my own schedule and pace! I guess that's selfish -- so be it.

When I took my first trip to Paris last year (it's in my subject bar on the blog), I stayed with a friend. But often because of a work schedule I was on my own and loved it. Crammed in everything I could! We did a trip to Normandy, too. I think you will find it unbelievably moving. I can't wait to check in and follow your trip! I love living vicariously through other peoples' Parisian experiences! (You follow Peter's Paris blog don't you? My favorite!)

Erin said...

I cannot wait to "travel vicariously" through you to Paris again!!! You are going to have so much fun :) I will be forever grateful for the suggestions you made to me for our trip to PARIS. Mr. B. and I loved EVERYTHING you mentioned and our trip to PARIS was the most memorable vacation we've ever had :)

Oh said...

Lisa! Traveling alone? Why not? Sometimes I don't get it why people feel they can say whatever they want about what we are doing. No, really. When it's so obvious that it's something that bring you delight and that you can easily manage, why shouldn't they be supportive, glad, celebrate?
I dunno.
It's a fabulous plan and will be a fabulous trip. You will be able to feel everything without mucking it up or in fact having to talk all the time. It will be bliss.
It will be a challenge, in its way, and one well met by you.

Takes me back to Joni Mitchell's old hit: "I was a free man in Paris, I was unfettered and alive..."

Go. Enjoy. Just be sure you're up to answering our million questions about it when you return.
Yes, it's one of my fave cities in the world, too.
It will be great to hear about it when you're back.
And anything you notice about fashion, please be sure to share that, too, you know, on what they're all wearing. And hair. and scarves.
And what they're all reading! ok, wait, no assignments here. You're going to check it out at your leisure.
But if you haven't been to Shakespearre & Co on the Left Bank, maybe add that to your list? The real one is still there and unmarked on Rue de L'Odeon I think and then there's the "new" Shakespeare.

Glad you got your tickets! It's gonna rock!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I went on my first solo trip a few weeks ago to San Fransisco, and it was so fun!!! I like traveling alone :-)

Emily Jane said...

I am SO excited for you!! Travelling alone is amazing, it gives you so much time to do whatever you want at your own pace, accompanied only by your thoughts and observations and reflections. Do make sure you take a journal for the ride, and take me LOTS of pictures of beautiful architecture :) Yay yay yay!!