Exploring On My Own

Bonjour again from Paris! I have surprised myself with how well I have adjusted, from not feeling the effects of jet lag to not getting lost on the metro. I think I am starting to fit in after all – especially after being asked for directions a few times already! The past two weeks have been full of orientation activities, meeting new people, and familiarizing myself with this still new and foreign city. To take a break from all of the craziness, I decided to spend this weekend by myself, doing the things I wanted to do. I had a list of places I wanted to go see, but at the last minute I decided to just walk around Paris. By the end of my three-hour adventure, my feet were terribly sore, but I call that a successful day! It was very cold, but seeing the sun made up for it, especially walking towards the Eiffel Tower. I will never get tired of its view. It will always be my favorite place to go to while I am here and I am pretty sure it will be the last place I will go before I leave. Here are a few pictures from my walking adventure that I wanted to share with you!

Even the tree branches can't hide the Eiffel Tower's beauty
Even the tree branches can’t hide the Eiffel Tower’s beauty
#jesuischarlie
#jesuischarlie
The Seine
The Seine

Some of you might be thinking, “You are crazy!” “Why would you want to be alone in Paris?” “Don’t you want to be with friends?” Well, let me put it this way: Sometimes the best way to explore a new place is by yourself. Don’t let the thought of not having someone to go with you hold you back from getting to know that new place. Sometimes it’s nice to just not have any plans at all, really. This doesn’t only apply to me because I’m in Paris, but it can apply to you too! I challenge you to get on the bus or train (or even walk!) without a set destination. Get off at a random stop and explore where you are. Walk around. Take pictures. Sit down and write. Listen to music. Take a moment to fully recognize where you are in that moment and I promise you it will be a memorable experience. I have so much more time to explore this new city that is slowly becoming my new home that I know this will be one of many other adventures. Before I end this post, I want to share with you one of my favorite quotes that I think sums up how I feel quite nicely:

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” -Lao Tzu

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @HopeMarisela16 for more of my adventures!

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Marisela Meraz

Hello! My name is Marisela, but everyone knows me by Mari. I am a senior at Hope majoring in English with an emphasis on writing and minoring in French. I am also part of the Theta Gamma Pi Sorority on campus. In my free time, I enjoy baking, taking photos, watching Netflix, and making music playlists for my friends. I am so excited to share my Hope experiences with you all!

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