One cold January in New York some years back, I was dating a guy who did not strike me as being much of a romantic. With Valentine's Day approaching, the shop windows were filling up with heart shaped candy boxes and cheesy declarations of love in the most American way, inciting you to buy or beware of the consequences. My boyfriend (who was not American), had no intention of buying into it and secretly I was disappointed. I mean who doesn't want to get a dozen red roses sent to them at their office. Or have a delicious (I use the term loosely), box of chocolates handed to them over a champagne soaked meal? I certainly did and knowing ahead of time that I wasn't going to be getting any of that should have softened the blow but I decided to take matters into my own hands.
It can be rather depressing walking past those shop windows and having everyone essentially remind you that if you are alone this Valentine's Day it will be a sad day or putting the pressure on to ensure that you DO something romantic. Kind of makes you feel like taking one of cupids arrows and breaking it in half. Sigh!
So what's my point? Well I decided that it would be best to go to Paris instead. No need to worry about getting anyone a Valentine. No anxious waiting for those roses to magically appear at your door. The city of lovers? Certainly! But with just me, myself and I, I was sure to do what I want, when I wanted and was certain that the French would need less of a commercial worshiping on this Saint Valentine's Day and would leave me in peace.
I whipped out the bank card, went online and booked myself not one but two tickets for Paris. One for Valentine's Day and the other just a month after - there was a crazy airfare sale going on that I just couldn't resist.
This trip to Paris was probably one of the most special ones for me. I strolled about, along the Seine, in the Marais, in Montmartre, under the Eiffel Tower and snapped away with my film camera. No one was there to hassle me about it being cold and my taking too long to take my photos. I dined as I liked, when I liked. I found myself often grinning foolishly as I walked through the streets- some familiar some new. I who had never liked the idea of traveling alone before was in love . . . with me time.
So I encourage anyone who hesitates on taking the plunge to travel to Paris this Winter or any time for that matter. Embrace the city and let it put you under its spell. Have your midnight in Paris moment, and maybe if you're feeling feisty and bold, your French Kiss. It's not that hard to be kissed in Paris if you like.
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