Let me tell you the story of a city called Paris. Or more specifically, how I came to call this gorgeous city my home.
In 2013, while sitting in a hotel room in Aberdeen, Scotland, I made a flash decision to move to Paris. At that point I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the direction my life was heading, so I decided I needed to make a drastic change. Moving to a foreign country where I didn’t know a single person and didn’t speak the language definitely fit the bill. And just so you know, yes, I am well aware that I’m basically a walking cliché. But regardless, that was my plan. It wasn’t a particularly well thought out plan, but it was a plan nonetheless. I arrived on September 6th, and below is what I wrote about my arrival a couple of days later.
“Last week I boarded a plane, armed with only a suitcase and a sense of adventure, and moved to Paris. Well, that’s one side of the story. It actually took three planes and 24 hours to finally land in Paris, and I had considerably more luggage with me, something that the Metro system of this city is in no way designed for. And yet three trains, two transfers, and one embarrassing glitch later that involved one of my suitcases getting stuck in a turnstile, I arrived, bleary eyed and sweaty, at the apartment that I had rented sight unseen for the next couple of months. Fortunately, the terror that was slowly mounting in my stomach kept the jet lag firmly in place, and therefore I was wide awake as I stared up at the 19th century building that was about to become my home. For about the 100th time that day I thought to myself, “What have I done?””
What had I done indeed. Turns out, what I’d done was turn my life completely on its head in the best way possible. Those couple of months quickly turned into years, and those years have provided me with some of the best memories of my life. Now, every September 6th, I look back on my arrival in France with the fond amusement of a grizzled old veteran, laughing at how utterly unprepared I was for the challenges that lay ahead of me as I tried to forge a life in the City of Light. While it’s always fun to reminisce, especially with a glass of wine in hand, this year I’m looking ahead, not back, to what I hope to accomplish in the year to come.
For the past four years, I’ve worked as a tour guide in Paris. I came up with the idea for Story of a City a couple of years ago so that I could share my stories and experiences of Paris to anyone who loves this city as much as I do, whether you live here or not. Today, to celebrate my anniversary, I’m launching the beginning of a new phase of Story of a City. I’ll be posting weekly content about life in Paris and the events around town, with many more features planned for the months ahead. If you want to receive regular updates, you can subscribe below to keep up to date with all these new features as they become available. And in the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to see what’s happening throughout the week. And if you have a question about Paris, don’t hesitate to reach out.
I’m a storyteller at heart, and I would love to tell you the stories of Paris. Stories from history. Stories of my life in this beautiful city. Hidden stories just waiting to be found. These are my stories of Paris.
I hope you’ll join me.