If you would have told me two years ago that I would be snuggled up under the sparkling Eiffel Tower with three of my best friends sipping on cheap bottles of wine, I probably would have laughed in your face.
I met Sage, Casey and Anna my very first week of college. And no. I did not think they would become my best friends. Not at first. It wasn’t until the third week of school that it really clicked. I was laying on Sage’s bed, munching on goldfish and belting out old school Carrie Underwood songs, when the thought hit me. Would these girls become my “college best friends”?
Little did I know that in just two years, we would be frolicking through Paris together.
My entire abroad experience has been an absolute dream, but these three November days were something else. And the funny part? SO many things went wrong while we were there. Our AirBnb was disgusting (I’m talking lipstick on the cups and brown substances on the comforters), the Arc de Triomphe was closed for the weekend, the Eiffel Tower park was fenced off, and since we have all been abroad for nearly three months now, our bank accounts were bordering on empty. But somehow, these setbacks did nothing to dampen our spirits. In fact, we found ourselves laughing over them most of the time! (Except for the brown substance. That was unforgivable.)
Paris might be the “city of love” and everyone’s dream destination, but this trip was a true testament to the cliche “it’s not where you are, it’s who you’re with.” I was not overly blown away by the city itself – the excessive tourism and massive distances between sights were not my favorites. But just being with these three girls made the weekend one of the most memorable ones I’ve had abroad. We shopped on Champs Elysees for too many hours, snagged some macaroons at Laduree (twice!), and had an obligatory photo shoot at the Eiffel Tower.
But I’ve gotta say, we really took the “treat yo self” saying to the extreme on this trip. And I’m so glad we did. I’ve always been extremely frugal with money, especially this semester, and feel guilty if I spend too much at dinner or on drinks. But the second I arrived in Paris on November 8, I made a conscious decision to not give a damn about money. Just for the weekend. When am I ever going to get this chance again? To be in this magical city with three of my best friends as a 21-year old… hell if I’m going to let money get in the way.
So we balled out. We ate and we drank. We laughed and we cried and made some of the best memories of my life. And as I write this from a café in Seville, I can’t help but feel so incredibly lucky. None of this semester is being taken for granted, and in this moment, I am the happiest I have ever been. Life is grand… let’s acknowledge that once and a while.