Unexpected Paris trip back story…
This was totally unplanned…well unplanned up to the end of Oct when my SIL and her DS who I have known since I will like 12yrs old started saying we should go to Paris for a week. I’m like well- I don’t think that’s even in the realm of possibilities for me. I have just gone on the biggest trip of my life (so far) 5 weeks to Italy and France in June-just 4 months ago.
More phone calls back and forth and okay if you guys are going how can I not go? And let’s do it if we can all get Frequent Flyer tickets.
Much easier for them than for me, I live in Hawaii, so it means flying over the Pacific and then the Atlantic-lots of flying and we are talking one month away now. Can I even get a ticket?
Yes I can, with multiple connections and not the best routing I can get a ticket, so with the blessing from DH and rescheduling work it went from yes it can happen to YES it is happening!
So now the planning starts fast and furious.
I will go for 10 days and the girls will go for 7.
In a previous life I traveled for work and had no problem traveling alone. But this was different-there would be no one meeting me at the other end-no planned meetings, no one waiting for me.
This would be my first Europe trip alone-well for 3 days anyways. And I was excited and freaked out all at the same time.
I read multiple threads on traveling solo on this forum which helped, but truth be told the part that scared me was- what if I got sick?-which is totally irrational cause I rarely get sick. But there it is-that was the part that scared me about being in Paris alone.
I gathered all my gumption and boarded the plane…no turning back now.
Turns out I did not get sick-or at least when I was alone-I did have a sore throat later in the trip-but no big problem as I went to the pharmacy and got lozenges.
The 3 days I spent alone were just as everyone says…the freedom to do whatever you want, when you want is wonderful. I have traveled lots with a few chosen girlfriends and have never had anything but the best of adventures , but to stop somewhere or leave somewhere without conferring with someone else was really an unexpected pleasure of being alone that far outweighs the fear.
Day time was glorious. Night time not as much. I would rather have been with someone, especially when eating dinner. The one night I ate dinner in a restaurant I was within sight of a group of French girlfriends having a great time which made me feel lonely. Now why this did not bother me in the least during the day eating lunch in restaurants who knows, but lunch was no problem for me.
Also I tended to not stay out as late as I do normally- usually being back at the hotel before 8 at night.
As I said, booking so late gave me the worst routing ever. I left the Big Island, flew the opposite direction to Honolulu, then to Kauai, where I changed airlines to fly to San Diego-with a bonus of staying the night with my girlfriend who lives there. I was suppose to leave San Diego at 8 am to go to LAX and wait for 6 hours for my flight to Chicago but decided to splurge and pay an additional $230 to spend the day in San Diego and leave at night, routing directly thru London and arriving at CDG at 5:30 in the evening. Man I really wanted to go on this trip to go thru all this! The good thing was there was no one on the flight from SD to London and I had 3 seats to myself and had a great sleep.
Waking up and flying into London was really cool-I have never been to London but seeing the Thames, and the famous landmarks made me put it on my list of places to visit soon.
The other thing I decided to do in the name of being safe and stress free is to splurge and take a taxi into Paris. I had the idea that I would try and find someone to share a taxi with to split the cost, and even though I did see two potential women traveling solo I was too tired to go thru the motions of asking plus I needed to stop at an ATM and get euros and I wasn’t real sure where one was.
After walking a bit I found an ATM and then out the door and into a waiting Taxi.
We sailed along just fine until we hit the after work traffic. I must remember-5:30pm is not a good time to land at CDG. The fare was 80 euro-ouch…but once again I chalked it up to being safe and stress free. I am a splurge and budget kind of traveler. I budget on some things so I can splurge on others-and being stress free and safe are necessities I am willing to spend the extra money on.
This is my 6th trip to Paris and I have never stayed in the 5th arrondissement or a hotel. So for my first 3 days I am staying at Hotel du College du France. I chose this hotel based on location & price, plus the good reviews on trip advisor. The room and bathroom were really small, but were clean, had a comfy bed and the staff was friendly. The hotel’s location was excellent for exploring the 5th arrondissement and also an easy walk to the St Michel metro, St Germain, Isle St Louis and the area around Notre Dame and the Seine. I would stay here again.
Next up, my favorite things in the 5th arrondissement and what I did with myself in Paris for 3 days.
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Unexpected Paris trip back story…