We started our last full day in Paris by taking the train to the Palace of Versailles. We have toured a lot of extravagant buildings in our time here, but this one was by far the best I’ve ever seen. It is absolutely huge, and the architecture, art work, and design is incredible. I love to walk around and imagine what the people living there would’ve talked about, or done for fun and what it was like to have that much money and status… They used to have 10,000 servants that lived on the property, I can only imagine some of the ridiculous requests.
After Versailles we visited the Louis Vuitton Foundation. I was stoked because Paris is so known for fashion. We walked a street that had Chanel, Chloe, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and so any more designers. You name it, it was there. We merely window shopped, I figured if I walked in they would smell “poor college student who stays in budget hostels and uses coupon apps at restaurants” from a mile away. Anyways, we went to the Louis Vuitton foundation and we got totally cat fished. There was not a single bag, shoe, or dress in sight. We didn’t stay long but its a space to promote young artists. If modern art is your scene, this is the place for you. However, if you’re expecting a collection of clothes and accessories, you will be disappointed.
We were walking back to our hostel, and we passed the Palace Royal. This was on my list but I didn’t think we would be able to fit it in. I mainly just wanted to take pictures on the striped columns so we peeped in so I could get the shot and headed back.
That night, we had a river cruise booked. Remember in Ibiza when we bought cheap airport liquor? Well that turned out to be a pretty dang good idea, so before our cruise we popped into a supermarket and grabbed some gin, sprite, and plastic cups. We ever so classily mixed our concoctions on the street and boarded the cruise. We hopped on just in time to see the Eiffel Tower glow, and if I thought it was impressive before it was even more amazing lighting the sky at night. Cruising down the canal, giggling about our weekend, and just gazing at Paris was another highlight moment of my travels.
The next morning we grabbed brunch and headed to Montmarte, a little neighborhood with shops and cafes, to explore before we had to catch our flight.
Traci, Lea, Maggie and I have all been reflecting on how this experience has been so far. We are doing so many amazing things and learning so much about culture and history, but I think the biggest lesson of this experience has been that I am a lot more capable than anything I thought of. This is another post where I’m keeping it real. This experience has been so amazing, and if you follow me on social media or read this blog, its mostly a highlight reel of all the amazing things I’ve been doing here. But that’s not real, and life isn’t always perfect.
I said it before and I’ll say it again, traveling can be hard. Each time though, we have to problem solve and come up with a solution. From figuring out little things like public transit, language barriers, and budgeting to big things like missing a flight, scheduling a wrong flight, or falling off a bunk bed and spraining my ankle, we are totally doing it on our own here.
In the last hour we were in Paris, I opened my bag to grab my wallet and it wasn’t there. We had ridden the underground to Montmarte. The last place I could remember having it was when I retrieved our train tickets in the station. It’s likely in between the shuffle of scanning tickets and getting on the train, I stuck it in my jacket pocket or bag and someone reached in and grabbed it. We had made several transfers since then and I knew that it was a long shot that if I actually did lose it and it wasn’t stolen, someone actually returned it. We backtracked with no luck finding it, but we did find someone else’s empty wallet in a trash can (I guess they were having some bad luck too). Shoutout to the girls as they were so patient in backtracking for an hour, keeping a positive attitude, and assuring me they would do anything to help me. They are some real friends. Ironically, in Barcelona, someone we met had their wallet stolen so I had taken pretty much everything out of mine except my expired drivers license, my debit card, and some cash.
This was one of those times where I had to remind myself that things could be way worse and there are much worse problems. Luckily the lost/stolen wallet is about a 100 euro cash loss, and a pain in the butt trying to get a new id and cards across the pond. My friends kept joking that they couldn’t believe how calm I was and I was like, “well freaking out isn’t going to fix find it.” I told my mom that and she’s like, “maybe the new you, but the old you wouldn’t have felt that way.” Maybe it takes spending 3 months in a foreign country at the ripe age of 21 and having a few bumps in the road, or maybe it takes something else, but this is one of those times where I had to realize I need to take a breath and figure it out. I’m not grateful my wallet was stolen but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be here. It’s hard to even be that upset when I have something like this happen because I’m in Paris doing things that people dream of and at the end of the day I can have a lost wallet here, car problems at home, or another thing happen. Life isn’t perfect, traveling isn’t perfect, I’m not perfect.
One of my favorite quotes by a traveling family on YouTube, The Bucket List Family, “Rich” is a relative and opinion-based adjective which is mostly based on each individuals level of gratitude towards life.” I am certainly not rich, actually I’m operating on a strict budget here. But as my sister said “I’m a poor girl doing rich girl things.” I’m not talking about rich monetarily though, I’m talking about rich in experiences and my gratitude for life.