Happy Bastille Day, everyone! If you need to know anything about me, you should know that I am obsessed with all things French and undoubtedly belong in Paris. (So naturally, I'm moving to... Spain? Sometimes I don't understand myself.)
My name is Courtney, and I'm a francophile.
Three years ago when I was living in Spain, I took a spontaneous trip to Paris during my spring break because I knew I would be a fool to fly all the way to Europe and not visit the city I had been fantasizing about since I was a little girl. Visiting France had been a dream and an obsession of mine since I was a child; even my room was decorated with a Parisian theme. Needless to say, the minute I set foot upon the cobblestone streets of the Left Bank, I fell head over heels in love. I daydreamed about returning to Paris every day since I left.
Two summers ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to actually live in Paris for a month and study Surrealist art and literature. I could hardly even believe that I had the chance to fulfill my lifelong dream of living in Paris.
And you guys, it was perfect.
Our only homework assignment was to "get lost in Paris" and aimlessly wander through the city, documenting what we encountered and how it moved us. Every day was filled with adventure, art, spontaneity and literature. Every moment was inspiring. I spent my time wandering through the world's best museums, snacking on delicious macarons from Ladurée, strolling along the Seine, and channelling my inner Hemingway at quaint Parisian cafés.
Gertrude Stein once quoted, "America is my country, and Paris is my hometown." I couldn't have said it better myself. I've never felt such a genuine connection to a city before. I've come to the realization that I am undoubtedly French at heart. Much like myself, the French have a passion for enjoying gourmet food, place profound importance on literature and the arts, pursue intellect wholeheartedly, and take their time appreciating all that life has to offer. The embrace la joie de vivre, which entails living life to the absolute fullest. The are thinkers, creators, lovers. They approach life with a zealous passion that brings enlightenment to all perspectives. Their culture exudes class and sophistication, and by all means they are proud of their French identity. And who can blame them? It is a culture of greatness.
Throughout all of my travels around the world, Paris is by far the most beautiful city I've encountered. I've ridden camels in Morocco, watched bullfights in Madrid, zip lined through the jungles of Mexico, basked on the beaches of southern Spain, skied through the snowy mountains of Whistler, climbed the rock of Gibraltar to play with wild monkeys, explored the Highlands of Scotland, and relished the sublime beauty of Iguazú Falls. And yet, nothing quite compares to the magic of Paris.