Life After Loss My Solo Trip to Paris Part 1
My late husband and I had a bucket list that we created a few years ago. Paris was on the top of the list.
In the summer of 2010 we spent several weeks in Munich, Germany. What a great home base for exploring the Alps and beyond! I had always dreamt of seeing and smelling the lavender fields in the Provence region of France.
Unfortunately, it’s still a dream as we got there about two weeks too late! Timing really IS everything! Oh don’t worry, we still made the best of the trip and visited Lyon on our way to the beaches of Cannes before heading back to Munich. The concierge at our hotel had directed us to a small hidden gem of a restaurant in the old part of Lyon. I’ll never forget walking along the narrow stone streets, around this corner and that to arrive at the open walled eatery. It was decorated in rich dark wood and heavy soft velvet curtains. Mmmm, the wine, the croissants, the roast duck…SORRY! I got lost in a memory for a minute!
Fast forward to a few months before my man passed away, we talked about all the places we had been to and where we really wanted to go next. He said if he could pull through this time, we will go to Paris and then go to see the lavender. A few weeks before his departure, he said “You may have to go to Paris without me”. I was trying to put on a rave face and joke around by saying “Sure, I will send you postcards.” But tears were already all over my face. I told him, I would look for him wherever I go. He held my head to his chest and said “Don’t look for me, just go see the world and create your own memories .”
So last week I went to Paris alone! I thought about staying there longer and visiting Provence to see the lavender. At the last minute, I decided to not be so ambitious.
Before I left for this trip, there were so many people that told me not to go. I do not speak or understand French, and I had never traveled internationally alone. My family doctor even yelled at me “Have you watched the movie taken II? Have you seen the news about those crazy terrorists? ” The night before my flight, I was stopping at a red light and randomly turned my head to my left. The sign on the theater building said”Paris can wait”.
What is it?!? Is it a warning sign that my man sent to me? It made me nervous. I still went. On the way to the airport, I gave my step-daughter directions about how to handle certain things…. just in case!Lol
I had fully prepared myself that this might not be an easy trip. Based on the experience of traveling to Hawaii alone in March, it took me 48 hours to get to Honolulu. So I packed enough things just in case I had to spend the night at the airport in NYC. 😉 The first flight was on time ( YES!!!) . As the second flight was boarding on time I thought “Maybe I am lucky this time”. Everyone on that plane was so friendly and helped me put my super heavy carry-on to the overhead bin. The older gentleman who sat next to me chatted with me, He had been to Paris many times and gave me quite bit info. At end of the conversation he said “You will love Paris and you will meet a lot of people, especially a lot of man, they love beautiful women.” Lol!
Find out more about my Paris trip next Friday.
Photos credited: Grace Liang
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