adventure, come and take me captive. and i’ll be okay if you never let me go…

here it begins, the internal flurry of dizzy-dazed frenzy at the very thought of leaving, the anticipatory rush of imagining my very own feet treading cobbled walks on foreign soil. what makes it all the more potent, all the more dazzling, is that my gratification will not be delayed for long. this is no “someday i will,” or “i only wish i could,” or “maybe when the time is right.” this is wanderlust taking flight, itineraries coming to life, my neglected passport emerging from its solitary hibernation and gleefully falling open in reception of a new tattoo.

this is my story, continuing in Paris; my self-same life, broadening its scope.

for years i’ve dreamed of traveling abroad, and a week of London in college provided a whirlwind snapshot of a European experience. but for a girl who fell victim to the luring intonations of the French language at age 14 and toyed with the idea of even pursuing a career as a French teacher, this is the reality of a life-long dream: Paris, with all the charm of its fairytale reputation, has glittered and dazzled for me from an ocean away for as long as i can remember.

and now i will claim it as my own, for once and for all, during this once upon a time in march. i will fall in love with every streetside café and dance with lighter feet down the Champs Elysées, alive for the first time in a world i’d never seen outside of Eiffel Towered dreams and poetic persuasion.

i’ve always had a thing for France, instilled in my by a mother who grew up with French-speaking relatives and spent every summer in a rustic fisherman village in Nova Scotia, learning a dialect of half-French, half-English that prompted her to pursue the language in school. my French Canadian grandmother would employ French expressions and taught us to sing “Frere Jacques” when we were very young, which i belted out ad nauseam.  the most comical story of my 4th grade experience involves my friend and i wearing our “Paris shirts” (black and white striped jailbird-inspired t-shirts with a screen print of the Eiffel Tower and the word “Paris” scrawled across it) every other Friday, for which we became notorious to the point that the boy i had a 9-year-old crush on decided to prank us by puffy painting his own version of the shirt and sporting it one Parisian day and halting the fashion trend’s stint of success. in high school i rocked French class for 4 years and on a family trip to Montreal, my dad insisted i speak en francais to the people waiting on us in a corner boulangerie. i continued with a little French in college, lucking into an adorable blind teacher who played the guitar and spoke with the sweetest accent and made me want to major in the language of love (until my dad protested that he would absolutely not pay for a major in French…right along with acting, photography and creative writing. hello, literature.) so there would be no semester in Paris, but i vowed to make it there one day, as so many do.

and as i now will, adorned with all the poetry of a dream that breaks through into daylight hours and sets fire to smoldering embers of latent hope. so set my ships asail, mon cherie, and au revoir…i’ve a lovely little dream to chase.

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