I always knew my first trip to Paris would be magical but I would have never guessed that this beautiful city would teach me such a valuable lesson.
It was my first trip overseas, on my own. By the time I had arrived in Paris I was well and truly in love with travelling by myself. Travelling how I wanted to, creating an itinerary that was just for me (of course a folder was involved), wandering wherever the moment would take me… I loved it all.
On my first night in Paris, after a quick dinner, I joined a small night tour (literally five people, including the guide) to check out the city lights and get my bearings around this fascinating city. However, as I arrived back to my hotel room, something inside me was saying that the night was not yet done. So I got all dressed-up, grabbed my book and purse, and even put on the scarf I had just bought at Galeries Lafayette earlier that evening, and I whisked myself away from the hotel, onto the streets of Paris.
I walked into Cafe de le Paix, next to the Opera House and in my very hesitant French asked for a table by the window. And there, for nearly two hours I sat and sipped hot chocolate while immersing myself in my book, interspersed with admiring the view before me. I wasn’t thinking about the past or what tomorrow may bring; I truly was in the moment. I was present in the present, and I loved it.
For the days that followed in Paris, I repeated this ritual. Each evening, finding a new cafe and letting myself get lost in the very moment I was in. In that trip I visited so many amazing places, architectural feats and had so many wonderful experiences but when I look back, I always remember that first night in Paris. It will always have a special place in the memory bank.
Since then I’ve always made it a mission to have some time during the day that’s just for me. While it may not involve having a view to Boulevard des Capucines, the peace it brings to me every day is just as special. Whether it’s going for a walk, reading just one chapter from a book, doing some origami or if nothing else, then just getting lost for five minutes in my favourite song, I have to make minutes for me.
It doesn’t matter where it is or what you do, as long as those minutes are just for you and your soul, that’s all that matters.
How do you make minutes for yourself?