You might be expecting an epic story, where I had the time of my life in the city of lights. It turned out be a comedy, with zip romance. At 19, summer 2014, I decided to take a trip around Europe with my best friend. Our first time in Europe! We were ecstatic to check things off our bucket lists. We decided to visit four countries, Spain, France, Monaco and Italy. We grew up in Haiti, a country famously known for defeating the French. Basically, we studied a lot of French History, and since french is our first language, we watched lots of french television. Our excitement was beyond the Eiffel tower, croissants and macaroons. We were ready to see this place we’ve heard so much about, and to make memories of our own.
Well shit! Paris was not happy to see us. As two college students trying to see the world on a budget, we decided to go to a Hostel. You know, these hostels open to young adults only, so no one over 25. It sucked! It looked like a freaking prison, the smell was disgusting and there was no light in the room. In shock, we walked around Paris under the cold rain all day, looking for a hotel. They were all booked! I understand that I may sound like a spoiled princess, but showers were not open 24/7. Plus you could only shower for five minutes. That stereotype that the French smell bad is true. I’m confirming what you’ve heard. Plus, you had to bring your own towel (we weren’t warned), and the showers were coed. Oh yes! As I was taking a shower behind a curtain while my friend was using the stall next to mine, a dude walked in casually, got naked and started a conversation with us. What did we do? We laughed to each other, rinsed ourselves off and wrapped up with our scarves. Later that night, we left for a bar in our pajamas, drunk lots of beer. Of course, we took our iPads because the wi-fi was on for a limited amount of time at the Hostel.
Funny thing, we found a hotel a block down of the Hostel that same night. It was Ibis Hotel. We went in there out of curiosity and it wasn’t booked. Get this, the room that we got cost exactly the same as the Hostel. We asked to see the room before making a payment and compared to that dump, it was heaven! Ibis is a regular clean hotel, with breakfast included. We made the payment, went to the room and crashed. We didn’t even go back for our stuff until the next day. I forgot to mention that we really tried to be backpackers. We bought camping bags on Amazon for $30. We’re not campers so we had no idea what we were buying. My bag ripped in the middle of the street, while I was moving from the hostel to Ibis. I bought a big luggage because I was over the backpacking life.That day kind of set the tone for Paris, and we decided that we hated it.
We went back thought and it was fantastic! Stay tuned for my next post about how to have the Best time in Paris on a budget. Love you for reading.
PS: I inserted a few pictures below.