In order to maximize my eight weeks in Paris, I thought it would be helpful to make up a list of guidelines to stick to, so I don’t end up taking even a single second for granted. Ten sounds like a nice round number, and hopefully by sharing them with you, it will keep me accountable so you all know I’m not staying in bed, overwhelmed by everything. (I’m writing it to myself in the third person. Because of course).
1. Write every day. You are in Paris, first and foremost, because of, and for, your book. Write it.
2. Walk every day. Sure, June is the rainiest month in Paris, but that’s why you packed boots. It’s just water, get off your derrière and go.
3. Don’t go anywhere without your camera. Even if it’s a quick run to the Marché Franprix for groceries, there will inevitably be something you’ll want to capture. Delete nothing.
4. Cheese. That is all.
5. Keep the (happy) crying to a minimum, and only ever indoors.
6. Go to a museum at least once a week. Entry to the Musée Rodin gardens is just €2, and a Louvre membership will pay for itself after three visits.
7. Buy fresh flowers for your apartment, a fresh baked croissant on your morning walk, and a glass of rosé at any café you stumble upon. Parisians understand how to live a really beautiful, decadent life. Take note.
8. Speak French with the locals every day. Stop being afraid of using the wrong conjugation, the wrong pronoun, the wrong accent. Parlez!
9. Calories and credit card limits still exist on vacation — don’t go crazy. (But still remember to treat yo self.)
10. Be present, be grateful, and be happy. You are in Paris.
Do you have any other pointers for me? Anything you think I should keep in mind? I know the entire trip won’t be a fairytale — real life doesn’t work that way, even if you’re in Paris to work on a novel, or living out any other fabulous cliché. I’m sure I’ll have lonely, off days when I’ll feel grumpy or persnickety regardless of my proximity to the Eiffel Tower. My remedy for that will be (you guessed it) cheese. And maybe a Skype session home to my man & puppy.