I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said about the horrifying events of the weekend that took place in Paris. Jen and I are deeply saddened. Something like this shouldn't happen anywhere, and to watch and read the news as the events unfolded in a city that has so much meaning for us both has been gut-wrenching.
All that said, I make a conscious effort to not live my life in fear (with varying levels of success), be it in personal relationships, career moves, and of course, when deciding where to travel. On September 11, 2001, I was a junior in high school, and the following year, I sent in my application to attend college at NYU, having always wanted to live in New York City, regardless of the fact that it might be a target for terrorism. And I won't let terrorism determine where I will or will not travel either -- to Paris, to Beirut, to Kenya, or to anywhere else.
This weekend, I met a well-traveled Brit, and we discussed places we had been. When I told him that my wishlist of places I want to visit sometimes makes my parents nervous about my safety abroad, he asked if there was anything that could happen to keep me from someday going to these places. My answer? "Flights would have to be canceled."
My point is that I genuinely hope this doesn't stop people from visiting Paris. I heard on NPR this morning that tourism there has been down 3-4 percent following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and I can't imagine what these latest events will do. This, of course, is the least of their problems, but since this is a travel blog and not a political one, I am using it to point out that Paris is an objectively beautiful city that is truly about celebrating life -- good food, good music, good wine, and good people. I expected Parisians to look down on us as Americans, but we couldn't have had a more opposite experience; they were friendly at every turn and went out of their way to help us when we were lost (multiple times). I think I safely speak for Jen when I say we both feel a strong connection to this city. It was even the ultimate inspiration for this blog.
So to celebrate our love of Paris, I've rounded up some old posts so you can experience why we love it so much. And then I've put together a gallery of some of my pictures from Paris, which are decidedly not as pretty as Jen's, but you haven't seen them before, and you can see how the beauty of Paris shines through my shoddy photography skills anyway.
- What to see when you visit Paris.
- Make like Kanye and visit Versailles, right outside of Paris.
- What it's like to bike (and fall) around Paris.
- Hobbling around the Louvre, Pompidou, D'Orsay, and Rodin Museums to see world-class art.
- A #TBT pictorial of the City of Light.
- A couple Bastille Day playlists for your listening pleasure.
- Paris, the ultimate foodie city.
- What movies to watch, starring Paris.
- And of course, our permanent Paris gallery (seventh one down).
We love you Paris!