So, this was a blog before the Movie Crash Course came along. And while I wasn’t saying much, one thing that did get me talking a lot was how much I liked Paris. ….Actually, “liked” isn’t a strong enough word; I flippin’ adored it.
I visited for the first time for New Year’s Eve 2016, and loved it so much that I went back again only six months later. I gushed about it so much that when I got back from my second trip, at least three co-workers asked me if I shouldn’t seriously think about moving there. ….And I did, for about five minutes; then realized that it would be untenable for a number of reasons; as much as I love Paris, I love New York more, and this feels more like home. Also, from talking to a couple of expats, it would be nigh-impossible to get a residency visa. (If I ever win the lottery I’m getting a second apartment in the 11eme arrondisment on Rue Charonne and going bi-residency, though.)
There isn’t even anything I could necessarily point to about Paris that caught my heart; it’s more about who I am in Paris. I’m more indulgent, I appreciate smaller pleasures, I live in the moment more. It was after my second trip that I came up with the expression “carpe gaudium”, a Google-translated Latin for “seize the joy”. I can get a little too ascetic at times, and I think that’s bad for me; I want to be more engaged with the world, open, in the moment, and effusive. And Paris reminds me how to do that, and also reminds me that you don’t need a lot of money to do that, either. While moving wasn’t an option, I did gush after my return in a starry-eyed Facebook post that “I’m going to be making annual visits to Paris for the rest of my life!!!”
….Weeeell, that didn’t happen. The only reason I was able to make that second trip was by begging my parents for help with the money; I was underpaid at my job and had some debt I was politely ignoring by paying the minimum towards it every year. I did finally get out of that job the following year, but didn’t feel right planning a trip only a couple months into a new job; so I didn’t go in 2017. I was gearing up for a mid-September trip last year, but then needed some dental work and had to dip into the travel fund I’d started to cover it. Then the thing I did in mid-September instead was to put on my big-girl pants and take care of some financial hygiene – build up that six months’ worth of emergency savings everyone recommends you to have, and wipe out that debt once and for all. I’d started a small savings account for a travel fund – and I sighed and decided it was going to be better served as my emergency savings fund. “….Paris will still be there,” I told myself. “This will just take a couple years.”
Fortunately, a couple of tiny windfalls have come up recently which are helping that a lot. I’ve been keeping careful track of the debt, and right now….barring any major life upheaval, I very well may be debt free by the spring of 2020. And as soon as I’ve paid off the debt, all the money I’ve been applying to that will go into the savings, and I’ll have 6 months’ worth built up by Christmas of 2021. That is not that far off. My travel is pretty much set for 2020 – a couple of family engagements have been forecast – but 2021, I think I will finally be returning.
But this is 2019 and that means I’m kinda stuck here.
However: a major spelunking into one of my storage closets reminded me that “oh hey, I have a lot of crafting stuff I’m not using.” I also live near some amazing thrift stores, with things that are begging to be re-purposed and gussied up and done over. And – polishing up finds from the marches des puces is a very Paris thing.
I was going to head out to Staten Island today, but the snow is going to make that transit path a little too hairy; so I think, instead, I’m going to hit up a couple of Williamsburg junk shops, wander down to a craft store and then head home for some crafting, making a bit of Paris with my own hands.