The summer of 2016, my best friend and I ventured off to Africa for a medical mission. We figured since we were already on the other side of the world that we should spend a little more time there. Because, lets be honest, flights across the world suck and the longer you can go between them, the better. So we found a cheap flight home from Paris and decided to head there afterwards.
You Get To Know Them Better
I have always said that if you want to figure out who you are, buy a plane ticket. It doesn’t matter where you go, as long as the culture is different.
But if you want to figure out who someone else is, buy them the seat next to you. See who they are when things don’t go as planned. See what they are like when you take away all of the luxuries of home.
I got to learn all about my best friends lack of sense of direction. Paris has a very well designed metro. We were 2 blocks to the closest station and that took us anywhere we could ever want to go in Paris. It is a web of lines and colors and foreign names. We changed the names to make them easier to remember. Some were normal, Republique to republic. Others founded in medical minds, Ecole Militaire to Ecoli Military.
“What would you do if you lost me in the crowds?”
“Find some place with wifi and tell you to come get me”
The Things You Will Laugh About
It is inevitable that your friendship will carry over into your trip. You have so many experiences from the past that you can’t help but find the most random things funny.
Rachael wanted to “experience backpacking”, so we stayed at a hostel the first night but rented an air BnB the rest of our stay in Paris. Both were on excessively high floors without elevators. The first place we stayed in we were on the 6th floor. Ironically we also work on the 6th floor. The stairs were narrow and went straight up making it easy to lose someone.
“Rae, where are you?”
” oh you know hanging out in the OR” (fourth floor, got it!)
“Now I’m on the roof top garden”
“Now I’m…. wait… what’s on the second floor anyways?”
In the second place we stayed at, we were so relieved to be done with the stairs. We met our host only to find that we would not be on the 6th floor, but instead the 7th floor.
“Oh look we’re home,” Rachael stated as we hit the 6th floor. “But, oh no, we’re floating today.”
Disney Paris is Better with your BFF
By some crazy miracle, we managed to hit all of the things on our to do list with one day to spare. We looked up a variety of things to do, visiting other cities or trying to take a beach day trip. There was one thing that we kept coming back to: Disney Paris. It wasn’t that far, and going in the middle of the week meant it shouldn’t be too crowded. It was only a 40 min ride on the RER from Paris to Disneyland and it drops you off directly on the front steps.
We were in awe.
It wasn’t that different than the one in California but it had enough differences to be ex. There was a Toy Story themed kid park that made you no bigger than Buzz Lightyear. There was a big Lightning McQueen track that was unfortunately closed. The Haunted Mansion played in both English and French and had different scenes. Everything was exciting to us.
It rained a little. Not enough to ruin the trip but just enough to help the magic of being at Disney Paris with my best friend! Unfortunately, since it was off season, a lot of the rides were under construction.
We saw the Eiffel Tower three times while in Paris. The first time they closed the viewing deck by the time we got there, the second was closed for a holiday and the third time we finally made it to the top! The view is spectacular and well worth the cost of going all the way up.
Even when traveling with friends, it is important to take time to yourself. At the mid point of the Eiffel Tower, she stopped to take pictures and I went to see all the views. We took our time until the sun started to set and she found me to take some sunset photos.
I think one of the best parts of our Paris adventure was being able to take what I love about traveling and share it with someone that has never experienced it before. I got to run around a foreign country with my best friend and even now we can laugh about the things we did.