Travelling isn’t just about getting on airplanes, buying souvenirs and taking pictures (ironically). Travelling is about breathing new air, experiencing great moments, and bringing back with you not keychains but memories. These pictures are artefacts of history, bookmarks of a thrilling page in your life, not postcards to show others the local monuments and landscapes. They’re images to remind you of things you smelled, smiles you received, laughter that escaped you, delicious things you ate, moments you shared.
Paris is a sightseer’s dream. The beautiful romantic architecture, the charming presence of the Seine, the museums, the bridges, the churches, the monuments… Paris is a city that can be seen as a living postcard, or it can be lived. I’ve seen Paris as a sightseer, but I infinitely prefer living it, using it as the background for a film of my life, of my time in that city.
Paris, to me, was a symbolic trip. It was my last vacation with Gabriele before I left Rome for Brighton. It was our last vacation together before I wouldn’t see him every morning and every evening. So although we’d both been to Paris before, this time we didn’t focus on the monuments or the museums. We focused on eating good food together, taking nice walks together, laughing in the rain, having coffee, making silly faces, experiencing new things and creating memories not necessarily linked to Paris as a touristic destination. And we enjoyed it so much more because of it.
Remember, no matter where you are or where you’re going, to always enjoy every day as if you’re travelling. See your hometown through a tourist’s eyes. Live every moment to the fullest, as if you’ll never eat that burger again, you’ll never hug that person again, you’ll never see the houses you walk past to go to work again. The beauty of travelling is in knowing that it will not last forever. Tomorrow when you wake up, get dressed, kiss your boyfriend, go to work, have lunch… pretend you’re somewhere new. Pretend you just got there and you’ll have to leave soon. Wake up every day and try to see the world as a new, exciting place, no matter how much things seem to stay the same.
Everything will be so much better and the sun will shine so much brighter than you’ve ever noticed.