Dorothy Does Dallas (en route to Paris)

I always travel in cowboy boots. They don’t pack well, are great for navigating TSA, and I secretly love the little clack-clack noise the make on the airport floor…

My cowboy boots are currently sitting by my front door, next to a suitcase, a backpack, a (very full) purse, and my camera. Ladies and gents, it’s go time.

People keep asking if I’m excited, and I don’t exactly know how to answer that. Yes, I’m feeling excitement, but I’m also feeling about a billion other emotions and I’m not totally certain excitement is at the forefront right now. Mostly, I’m making lists and organizing; it’s how I make sense of things that are beyond my comprehension (or just too darn overwhelming).

I feel such (mostly self-imposed) pressure to binge drink up everything that Paris has to offer. In my four meager months of living in Paris, I have to soak up more than 2,000 years’ worth of history and architecture and art and culture and food (Oh, my!). I want to do it all, I want to write about it, and I want to enjoy every second of it. As Dorothy would say, “There’s no place like Paris.” **

It’s a daunting task, but I’m ready. Somehow, Paris seems natural and even familiar, like when you meet someone and feel like you’ve known them for years. I myself feel more Parisian (or maybe I flatter myself. So shoot me.), even if I’m running around in cowboy boots with a huge backpack on, speaking pigeon French. Okay, bad example, but I’m doing it all wearing lipstick, so that’s something. Baby steps.

I was browsing through some old posts just now and came across this little gem that I wrote more than a year ago. I had recently returned from a trip to the Bahamas, was taking lots of Bikram yoga classes (which mess with your body’s chemicals so much, it feels like you’re high), and was a week away from finishing my internship and moving back to Boston. Basically, I was in a really good mood.

My writing was chipper and happy and I was so damn giddy with the beauty of the world, and dizzy from dancing my “fancy little tango” with the world of what ifs.

A year before that post (almost to the day), I got to Paris and fell in love with it: the bajillion couples making out in public, the appreciation for beauty in its many forms, and the general joie de vivre. I thought, “What if I studied in Paris?”

Tomorrow, the “what if” becomes a reality. I’m hopping on a plane in nine hours. And I’m going to land in that world of opportunities, 6,000 miles away with a butt ton of luggage. Alone. I’ll get settled in my temporary apartment, and after that I’m on my own to stroll the city—just me, Paris, and a beloved, beaten-up old pair of cowboy boots.

 

** Quote has been modified by the blogger. But let’s be honest, if you were Dorothy and had to choose between Paris and Kansas, there’s no competition.

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