Two and a half years ago, I took a trip that stirred my travel-longing heart in a way that no other trip had up to this point. The reason why was twofold: 1) It was my honeymoon and served as the first ever extended trip Chris and I had taken together, and 2) It introduced me to Paris, the City of Light – agreeably one of the most romantic, most alluring, most spectacular places in the world.
Admittedly, I quickly caught the Paris bug. I gawked at the Eiffel Tower sparkling at dusk over the Seine. I climbed the many stairs to the top of the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur and took in the sprawling skyline (“Ahh, look! I can see the Eiffel Tower from here!”). I sipped decadently rich hot chocolate at the famous Angelina’s and sampled buttery croissants from local boulangeries. I sheepishly tried out my high school level French (“Je voudrais un espresso, s’il vous plait.”) and people-watched, lounged at outdoor cafés every evening. I was a tourist, through and through. But, Paris made an impact on me, and I anticipated any opportunity to return.
That opportunity has come through my husband’s pursuit of his PhD in Enthnomusicology. Honestly, I have to admit that I haven’t always been as big a fan of Chris’s graduate studies as I am now. He’s been a student for as long as I’ve known him; the endless hours of research and writing and stressing aren’t exactly ideal for anyone involved. There were many days where I just wished that he would be done with this whole thing already so our lives could be more “normal.”
Normalcy, I’ve now decided, is overrated.
8 months spent enveloped in Parisian culture – living and speaking and learning and experiencing – is not normal. And I am okay with that. I’m more than okay with that.
In fact, sign me up.