It’s been raining a lot in Paris this summer. Many people might curse the rain, especially those who are just here for a short period of time because it does interfere with plans. I’m lucky that I am staying a few weeks so the rain doesn’t bother me much (yet!) – if I have something planned that simply won’t fly in the rain (like a market visit which is definitely very challenging in the heavy rain), I simply cross it off my list for the day and add it to another day. So I’ve been doing that a lot recently
But when I lived here, I guess life just got in the way. I barely visited the Louvre, I saved “playing tourist” for when people were visiting me. In retrospect, I really took a lot of what Paris had to offer for granted.
Now I don’t live here anymore, I try to make sure that I don’t take this beautiful city for granted. I know I am fortunate to be able to spend a good chunk of my summer here and nowadays I really try to make sure I take advantage of everything she has to offer.
So I have this ongoing “Paris journal”. Not your typical journal where you note down things you’ve done, more like a “to do” list. That never ends. Not the “un-fun” kind of list with items like “pay bills, clean bathroom, buy cat food”. More like a collection of ideas, places to visit, things to see (and taste!).
Like anywhere, Paris has SO much to offer that it would take me years to work through my ever-changing list. But I figure if I make sure that I just keep checking things off the list, making sure I DO seek out those places I read about somewhere and thought sounded interesting, it’s ok to leave a few things “until next time”.
The “ongoing journal” is a great way of making sure I don’t forget about something I’ve read about months earlier. It means that any day I can wake up in Paris and look through my list and find something I’ve “been meaning to do”.
I do try to organise my “things to do” into what makes geographical sense though. And according to what’s open on what day. Even though I organise a great amount of my life digitally these days, for some things I still can’t get past the physical act of writing. And crossing things off lists
Having items NOT crossed off a list means I don’t forget about them either. My Paris time is organised into “pages” – each day has a whole page to itself where I note things I have to do, things I want to do and things I could do it time/ weather permits. And more and more, I’m including a lot of blank space on those pages. For wandering…. At the end of every day, I transfer incomplete items to another day. So I don’t forget! This summer I have been doing quite a bit of that… The rain has meant a few things I have wanted to do haven’t been possible. So, while it’s a little annoying, I know that as long as I have those places/ things to do on my radar, I won’t forget about them. Or take Paris for granted. Now or next time.
The rain has meant I have had a lot of time to read this summer. Every cloud has a silver lining, as they say!
A book that’s very à propos of my trip is The Paris Journal, the brainchild of Evan and Nichole Robertson of Obvious State. Nichole is a writer, photographer and bestselling author of Paris in Color (Chronicle Books, 2012) – check out her books here, while Evan, whose work is cross disciplinary, studied writing, literature and classical theatre at Yale University and The Juilliard School.
The Paris Journal isn’t a guide book. It’s not like my Paris journal either. This excerpt should give you an idea…
Do you know what you would do with one day in Paris?
This anonymous solo traveler does. Accompanied only by her endless enthusiasm and vivid imagination, she surrenders to every whim and lets her love of the city – not a map – guide the way. She extols the virtues of small ice cream portions, debates public makeout sessions with the King of France, tails a mysterious elderly lady into a church and scarfs cheese. But whether she’s racing a dinner boat or running from flower pimps, one thing is clear: Her heart belongs to Paris. This exhilarating diary of a day in the City of Light combines 17 journal entries with over 140 color photos that bring the city, its people, and apparently its former kings to life.
It’s a truly unique look at Paris through a real enthusiast’s eyes. It covers just a tiny part of Paris (the Ile St Louis and the Ile de la Cité) – though it’s just “Book One” – we can hope there will be more volumes featuring different parts of the city – and it really showcases that you don’t necessarily have to “do” anything to experience a city. And it might just give you ideas for your next trip. To write down in your Paris journal… Both the photographs and the words are evocative – putting you in the shoes of this anonymous traveler and making a strong case for “wandering” being THE way to experience Paris.
The Paris Journal – a worldwide giveaway!
Thanks to the generous folks at Obvious State, I have one copy of “The Paris Journal” to give away to anyone, anywhere in the world.
How to enter:
There are 2 ways to enter (maximum of two entries per person for the duration of the contest).
1. Leave a comment on this post telling me what you would do if you only had one day in Paris.
2. Tweet the following message: Love #Paris? Enter to win @obviousstate’s “The Paris Journal” on @eatlivtravwrite (worldwide!) Details: http://bit.ly/1mMrqW6 then come back to leave a second comment letting me know you did.
Eligibility and contest rules:
- Open to anyone, anywhere.
- No purchase of any product necessary for entry.
- Winner will be chosen randomly (using www.random.org) from all qualified entries on Sunday July 20th 2014 after 6pm EST.
- Winner will be notified via email Monday July 21st 2014.
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “The Paris Journal” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.
Please note: The product links from Amazon and Amazon.ca are affiliate links. If you click on these links and purchase the product I have linked to or any other product, I will receive a tiny percentage of the sale price.
Many of you will know I’m in France for most of the summer. While I will be eventually blogging about things I do here, the best way to keep up with me will be by following my photos which you can do on my Summer 2014 set on Flickr or Instagram where I am @eatlivtravwrite (if you don’t have the app on your phone you can still check out the photos online.
I’m submitting this post to Paris in July over at Thyme for Tea.