Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, this solo travel girl feels a sense of comfort and security in a well known place, but unlike Dorothy, my most favorite and well known place is not home, but Paris, France. Tapping of the red shoes optional, but definitely en vogue.
On a regular basis I need, yes, you read that correctly, need to visit this historic, romantic, gastronomic and fashion centric city in Europe. Solo travel to France restores my soul.
There’s something parallel world about being in Europe for me. Walking the streets where Napoleon, Caesar, Marie Antionette, Vincent Van Gogh and other great artists of our favorite periods, have walked and seen sites that have endured, unchanged for centuries. I imagine them having conversations and thoughts about their lives and how it would all turn out. These thoughts on my mind as we fight the pandemic, for them, the great plague, depression, war, etc. But we do endure, I can’t help but wonder what helped them make it through tough times. Well, for me, it’s travel and fine dining.
Dining in France is the most delicious experience in the world and it’s not because most everything has butter, cheese, sugar or chocolate, which would be enough to please most palates, but it’s that chefs of France who take this craft seriously and have tested, collaborated, tasted, tweaked, invented and created tirelessly to improve their culinary excellence, it’s literally an art. It’s a process that never stops, chefs from around the world come here to study and learn to take the experience to newer heights. I think what makes me smile is the clever, eye pleasing designs, the precise cuts, the spacing of the items on the plate, the presentation that brings it all together. It’s often such a surprise, like a package with a bow.
Now add crispy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside baguette bread and wine fermented from grapes grown in the most verdant regions of the world. The French have mastered the croissant, the baguette, brie cheese, they own champagne, now add truffles, macarons, foie gras, escargot, is your mouth watering? If you haven’t tried these delicacies (which are often day-to-day fare for the French) you have so much to look forward to on your visit to France. As a self proclaimed travel doctor I prescribe a visit to France at least once in every lifetime! The Michelin Guide is an invaluable resource for the best restaurants in France.
I am lured again. So here I go, in the midst of madness, nearly 18 months of a pandemic that seems to be threatening the lives of us all and attempting to crush our dreams. The pull from France is too great. Okay the deals to redeem points for the flights were also pretty compelling and the lack of crowds make the visit all the more worth it.
My sense of fashion was never the best and in my later years, comfortable is more important than façonable. But I did pack a pair of red heels for a special night with a famous chef, well not the chef, but some of his/her divine creations. I can hardly wait!
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