Last weekend I boarded a flight to Paris to see my friends from high school. This was a highly anticipated trip, as I planned it months in advance. My friends and I have always daydreamed of going to Paris together. Many tears were shed… on the flight there, in the 48 hours we spent together, and of course, with the hugs of goodbye. I miss them already.
Here’s a photo I captured of them on our first night.
These beautiful people have been by my side for many years now, and although long distances often separate us, we always reconnect. This time it was on Lola’s home turf; she’s been studying culinary arts in Paris for over two years. After a short, easy flight, I arrived in Paris on a Friday afternoon.
I went to Paris before when I was much younger with my grandparents. It certainly felt like a whole new experience being there with my friends. There were unique stressors, like the pressure to make the most of my 48 hours there, and new freedoms, like having more agency with my time. Claire, Lola, and Noah met me when I arrived. That first day we walked around for ages as Lola brought us to her favorite thrift shops, restaurants, and bars.
We spent every waking hour talking, with the occasional break to eat and dance. I didn’t go to sleep until 6 AM. We were just soakin’ it all in.
I was up the following day at 10 AM to see some touristy sights in Paris. Well, the extent of my tourism started and ended with the Eiffel Tower.
Then I found myself at the Paris flea market for hours and hours and hours. There were many vendors selling all sorts of things–from vintage postcards and pins to dolls and prints. I went with Katie, a friend from DIS. She got some stamps, and I got the most drool-worthy varsity jacket. Buying a jacket probably wasn’t the brightest idea, but it was too good to pass up.
Katie and I wandered the flea and surrounding streets for hours, just admiring what the shops had to offer.
Katie and I were soaking it all in and later walked to meet with my friends for dinner at a popular chain in Paris. It was recommended by some friends studying in Paris. It offers cheap French food at affordable prices and a lovely classy atmosphere.
I ordered two servings of pasta and some strange salad that just has leaves and beets. It hit the spot. This dinner was the first time Katie got to meet my close friends and company (additional friends from NY studying in Paris). I enjoyed it quite a lot. The rest of the night, we walked, scooted, and trained around the city.
The final morning in Paris we got breakfast at a lovely, greasy, French buffet. It was exactly what I needed.
The brunch location (Lucien, pictured above) was located just across the way from a breakfast spot recommended to me – the one we intended on eating at (Holybelly). However, the line went down the block and wrapped around. Lucien was a highly convenient gem. I recommend.
After breakfast, Claire bought a bouquet of flowers, which left a trail of petals wherever she went — a trail all the way to metro and into the Louvre where we wandered aimlessly until we found Mona.
After we saw Mona we felt our Louvre trip was complete. We found a cafe, recovered from our weekend, and maybe shed some tears. I’ve known Noah since I was three years old, and the fact that we were twenty one in Paris was surreal. So we just sat with that feeling for awhile until it was time to fetch my things and fly back to Stockholm. My heart is so warm.
It was a culture shock to be with my best friends from high school (such a distant, yet visceral time of my life) then to return to Stockholm with the new life that I had built for myself abroad. It was also strange to go “home” to Stockholm. For the first time, I considered Stockholm home. It is my new home base.
I hugged my friends all tightly goodbye, gathered my belongings, and boarded a night plane back home.
Thank you for reading. Catch ya on the flip.