When I was in physical therapy school my roommate Ernest and I wanted to go somewhere for spring break and we didn’t have much money. We figured we stay in one spot that gave us the most bang for our buck. After searching countless travel websites we found a round-trip ticket to Paris for $500 dollars from San Francisco. We were living in Southern California and decided to pull the trigger. I had watched Amelie and I had a romanticized idea about Paris
I was finishing up my finals before spring break and so was Ernest. I just bought a digital SLR which was big deal in 2005 and was ecstatic to travel. After Finals we drove to San Francisco and stayed with some friends and then off to Paris. Ernest promised me he would never camp. We were debating where to stay in Paris. We were looking at hostels which could cost €15-25 per night per person or we could camp and it was €10 for the both of us. I was completely shocked when Ernest agreed.
It was spring break in Paris and apparently everybody else was privy to the camping idea. But there we found ourselves camping right next to the Seine River and it was our home for a week and it was nice. Warm showers, places to store our bags for the day and right on a bus route.
At that time, Paris was so different to me. The language, the currency, the voltage, pretty much everything. I had never been to Europe before so I felt so cultured but stuck out like a sore thumb. We saw everything you could possible see in Paris. Ernest was an art major in undergrad so we literally went to every art museum in the city. My knowledge and appreciation jumped up exponentially on this trip.
While in Montmartre we bumped into Johnny Knoxville in a little Salvador Dali Museum. We walked aimlessly all over town, going from one neighborhood to the next. If it was on or off the beaten path we found it. Ernest and I are from Washington DC so when it come to public transportation we can get around. While there we took a couple day trips to Brussels and Versailles.
I had a layover in Paris 9 months later on my way to Cameroon. I was traveling with a friend from Washington DC and I took her to as many places as you could in Paris for one day.
This was my first European adventure and my appetite for traveling was turning into an addiction.