By Joanna Goddard published
Paris is a magically romantic city, but when all is said and done, it comes down to what you make of it. My twin sister and I were born in Paris, but our family moved when we were just 3 years old. Sadly, I don't remember a thing from that thrilling start to my life!
I didn't go back to Paris until 25 years later. I was living in New York, and my then-boyfriend Josh decided to spend half a year studying French at the Sorbonne. Of course, I immediately bought a ticket to visit him.
A few months later, when I boarded my flight at JFK, butterflies danced in my stomach. I hadn't seen him in ages — what if things were different? What if they were (gasp!) awkward?
For an agonizing six hours, I sat on the plane, worrying like only a neurotic twentysomething can. Finally, the plane touched down, I grabbed my bags, and I spied Josh through the crowd. Once I saw his goofy, sweet, smiling face, and his mess of blonde hair, I felt insane for worrying about whether we'd know what to say to each other (we would) or, worse, if I had gotten fatter while he'd been away (I had, but just a little).
The next week wafted by like a dream — we strolled down the cobblestone streets of Paris, smelled the flowers in the Tuileries, fell in love with a SNL video exhibited at the Pompidou, sucked down liquorice-flavored Pastis
in smoky bars and ate WAY too much sea-salt-chocolate. (But it's so good!) I fell more in love not only with Josh, but also with the city and the life-affirming charm of every corner bar and window flower box.
On the last night of my trip, we decided to stay in. Josh, always an adventurer, searched the web for a recipe, and an hour later pulled chicken breasts stuffed with goat cheese from the oven. We ate dinner and drank wine and listened to music by the Left Banke. Afterward, Josh pulled out his guitar and sang funny songs about my J. Crew sweaters and how much he hated the time difference between New York and Paris.
As we sat on the bed together, I looked out of the window at the gray buildings and starry sky and felt like pinching myself. I knew it was one of Life's Great Moments and that I should truly savor it, since tomorrow I'd be on a plane back to my weird roommates and scary boss.
Now, years later, Josh and I have long since broken up, and he's now living in London, presumably making chicken and singing songs to his new girlfriend. But, along with a few photos and the lingerie he brought home for me, we'll always have Paris.
The 12 Best Satin and Silk Hair Wraps for Your Natural Hair
Farewell to unruly hair days.
By Chelsea Hall
21 Black-Owned Handbag Brands to Know and Shop in 2022
Bookmark this page.
By Marina Liao
Royal Experts Say Kate Middleton Isn't Trying to Upstage Camilla Parker Bowles
The Duchess of Cambridge may look like a queen, but she knows how to wait her turn.
By Kathleen Walsh
'Love Is Blind' Fans Can Now Book a Vacation Where the Netflix Show Was Filmed
Vanessa and Nick Lachey not included.
By Bianca Rodriguez
You Need to Book a Trip to Detroit ASAP
Meet the three feminist artists who'll be your tour guides.
By Jen Ortiz
The Most Beautiful Train Ride in America Only Costs $97
By Jessica Leigh Mattern
You Can Now Travel to London and Paris for Just $99 Round Trip
So start planning your dream vacation ASAP.
By Megan Friedman
Aidy Bryant's Japan Travel Diary
The actress an SNL cast member lets us in on her Japan adventures.
By Aidy Bryant
That Time I Vacationed Like Beyoncé
A tour of Florence that's fit for (a queen) Queen Bey.
By Samantha Leal
Melinda Gates Reports from Malawi, Where Feminism Is Making Surprising Strides
An impressive new trend is changing conditions for women—and helping them push the whole country towards a better future.
By Melinda Gates
Attention, Travelers: Here's When to Book Your Holiday Flights to Get Them Super Cheap
Insider secrets, right this way.
By Lauren Valenti