Earlier this summer, I got an exciting and somewhat unexpected opportunity to go to Europe to work for a few weeks. With that opportunity came flights paid for by the company, and which could be flexible if I wanted to travel before/after. Of COURSE I jumped at the opportunity to do a little side-traveling! While I wanted to do a big trip around the Balkans or travel around Spain and Portugal for a few weeks, there was no way my budget would've allowed either trips at the time.
Instead, I chose to spend a long weekend in one of the most popular European destinations...Paris.
Though I had been to Europe a few times prior and had even been to the French Riviera, I had never made it up to Paris. I've had so many friends tell me that I would love the city, and from the popularity in books and movies I knew I had to get there.
I had seen so many pictures throughout my life of Paris and the iconic Eiffel Tower. I had seen videos on Instagram of friends jumping or dancing around with the tower in the background. I had seen it sparkling at night in the background of a scene on Gossip Girl, my favorite show.
Seeing the Eiffel Tower in real life from Placa de la Concorde was exciting, but it wasn't until I got up close to it that it took my breath away. That thing is giant! I found a spot in the grass in perfect view of the tower and watched it slowly light up as the sun set. It was beyond beautiful - much more so in person than it was in photos. And then it sparkled at 11pm that summer night and was even more gorgeous.
I realized at that moment why Paris is such a popular city for people to travel to. You can find beauty everywhere in Paris - even at the seemingly "cliche" spots like the Eiffel Tower. That's why this quote resonates with me:
"It's Better To See Something Once Than Hear About It a Thousand Times"
If you've been wanderlust-ing about going somewhere, find an opportunity and go. Looking at pictures of your dream destination will only fulfill you for so long.