Café life is one of the best things about Paris.
I’m currently in Paris, the capital of love. Sitting in a creperie in the centre of town overlooking the Eiffel tower. I can hear the buzzing of the world around me, beeping cars, the French language, and here I am on my own in the corner watching the world go by. The crepe arrives; it is gluten-free and glorious, filled with warm dark chocolate. Every bite is light but indulgent. I finally feel a bit human after running 6 miles this morning. In an attempt to make Paris my own.
I am travelling for the month around Europe partly working but mostly for pleasure. I have had a trip like this planned for years, but it was always a question of finding the money the time and the right companion. Which I’m sure most of you know seems like it’s never the right time. That is why I decided to just do it, and if just doing it meant I had to do it alone then that is what I would do.
It’s day three and travelling alone is hard. I always say the first day in a new place is always the worst but today it has begun to get a little easier. I decided it was time to surround myself with things that feel a little more familiar and so I started with running. Exercise always puts me in a good head space and getting to explore the city in a way I feel comfortable was so beneficial. I saw places I wanted to revisit later, travelled a distance that would take people three or more hours to walk and bonded with the space in a special way only a run can do. Not to mention now I can say I ran in Paris!
Having the routine of running and stretching in a place completely unfamiliar, a place in which I have no one else to talk to in my language meant I felt a little less vulnerable and a little bit more like Paris was mine to enjoy also. Things like listening to my favourite music or podcasts when away makes me feel like I have brought a little bit of home with me.
Being somewhere you feel out of place can be difficult like you should walk down the street not holding your head as high because you aren’t as confident with where you are heading or understand the name of the street or what people are saying. It makes you almost feel like entitled because you aren’t part of the culture. But that is the beauty of travel and why I am travelling to soak up all of the quirks, get things wrong, embarrass myself without realising and look a little longer than maybe I should.
I must say Paris is gorgeous, but I am not a city girl. Being here has helped me understand what fills my soul. Dodging people along the road as I run, waiting for the metro, shopping and walking around a city is not my idea of the ideal getaway. It feels a lot like London and maybe a little too much like work, and not far enough away from the world I live in day-to-day. Maybe that’s because I’ve brought the work with me. I am visiting agencies here in Paris, in Barcelona and in Amsterdam, with the hope of being signed abroad to open up new markets and clients for me to work in and with.
Given that I am more of an outdoors adventurer, one-stop coming up has things like caving, swimming and beaches on the agenda. Can you guess where I am off to? In the meantime, I will be stopping in Seville and figuring out how to make the south of Spain feel a little bit more like me. For now Merci beaucoup Paris!
Follow Emily’s journey to see what she gets up to on her next stops, how her modelling visits go and who she meets along the way.