Regret is a silly word. I hate to use it in any context… but here I am, thinking back and realizing there’s something I truly regret about my past travel experiences. I got to reminiscing the other day, and the more I looked through pictures, journals, and thought back to distant memories, the more I realized how much I missed out on during most of my visits.
For example: I looked back on my magical week in Paris. I quickly fell in love with the beautiful architecture, crepes on the street and graffiti lined walls… until I realized how little I truly knew about Paris at the time. I didn’t know what part of the Louvre I’d be dying to see, or what part of the city was the most frequented by locals, or even read a book about the Palace of Versailles. What a fool I was!
The lucky thing about regret is that it can be dismissed. Instead of carrying a heavy burden, I’ve made a list of all the things I will do differently when I visit sweet Pari again.
1. Climb the Arc de Triomphe
I’d start with forgetting the view from the Eiffel Tower, and focus on climbing the Arc de Triomphe. Not only is the arch is older than the Eiffel Tower, but the lines are far shorter and it is also home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, whose eternal flame is re-lit every evening at 6:30pm. Talk about beautiful.
2. Do Palace of Versailles the “Right Way”
Spend an entire day at the Palace of Versailles. First and foremost, I’d like to get caught up on some Versailles history… there is so much ancestry and heritage, and as a silly 14 year old I missed more than half of it. I’d like to read stories and excerpts, and then see them come to life as I stroll through the gardens and admire the ceilings within the castle.
3. Visit Shakespeare and Company
As a true lover of literature, I don’t know how I missed out on visiting the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. I’ll be hitting myself over the head on that one. On my next trip to Paris, I will make a point of visiting and basking in the place that inspired and supported so many famous writers, including Ernest Hemingway.
4. Check Out the Top Paris Nightlife Districts
I loved sitting by the Eiffel Tower and enjoying a cheap bottle of wine (that doesn’t taste quite as cheap when the label is all in French!). However, I never got to experience real Parisian nightlife. Mainly because our hotel was far too many metro stops away from Sain-Germain-des-Pres, which is the only one we knew about at the time. Here’s a great link that breaks down the party districts, and where to get a great cocktail: Top Paris Nightlife Districts. This is certainly at the top of my list!
Do you have any regrets about traveling? Do you have any suggestions for really awesome things to do in Paris? Let me know, because we all know I can use all the help I can get.