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The Paris Plan: 15 Rules for Living in a City of Light

Last week I mentioned that I put together a list of rules to live by while I'm in Paris. I am slightly nervous to share them--are they weird or obvious or stupid or too personal?--but these three months are all about living a little better and a little braver, so I'm sucking it up and placing them down below.

(It also makes it feel more real if I just put it out there, you know?)

My hope is these guidelines will inspire me to maximize my time here. And when that time is up, maybe they'll even help me shift the way I experience my everyday in Brooklyn.

Let me know if I've missed anything or if you have suggestions!

-The Paris Plan-

1. Create every day, whether it's via writing or taking photos. (Preferably both.)

2. There is Paris outside your window; make sure you don't stay inside too long. Be efficient and realistic, but don't miss out by overthinking your client work or by the inevitable urge to watch the "Game of Thrones" episodes you're missing back home. Winter is coming, but in this case, it can wait.

3. Listen better. Don't let iTunes substitute for the sounds of the city. When you're out, leave the ear buds at home. (Unless you're exercising.)

4. Exercise.

5. Eat. And eat and eat. This is France. Have the butter; try the cheese. Be the woman walking down the street with the fresh baguette.

6. Don't freak out if you gain 5 pounds.

7. Talk to someone in French once a day. Even if it's just to say good morning. Or hello, nice to meet you. Or "Please feed me croissants because I have committed to not freaking out if I gain 5 pounds."

8. Don't totally buy in to the stereotypical Paris fantasy. Live it. Smell it. Taste it. Appreciate what's real around you, and try not to get caught too often in the shadow of big tall towering things. Unless they are men.

9. Don't forget the men.

10. Leave the city on a regular basis. Find out if you miss it.

11. Know these numbers by heart: your passport, your Paris address and cross streets, your Paris phone number, your landlord's cell, emergency numbers.

12. Read literature about where you are. Understand why Hemingway called Paris "A Moveable Feast."

13. Wear the right shoes. Make sure they're comfortable. Walk like you know where you're going, even when you don't.

14. Embrace the unexpected. Because there will be speedbumps, and there will most certainly be cobblestones (and they're even harder to deal with if you aren't wearing the right shoes).

15. Listen, girl. Don't forget that sometimes you need to forget the rules.


Reader Comments (10)

I absolutely love this plan. And being a compulsive list- and rule-maker myself, I think #15 is the most important. There are times when you need to follow your rules and times when you don't.

March 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkristin a.

I feel these are a must-have for everyday life. Especially my talking in French to people. Because why not? It just sounds romantic and may give someone a pick-me-up feeling that they need!

March 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

I love #5. Absolutely love it. :)

March 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Love them all...and I have one to add.

#16 Make new friends. Done and done. xo

March 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersusan

Susan--that warmed my heart. #truth xo

March 21, 2014 | Registered CommenterAmy

I love these and I love that you are there just a few short months ahead of our trip. Consider my appetite thoroughly whet.

March 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDea

Hi! I just discovered your blog from Native Native's Facebook page. I LOVE your Paris Plan! What a wonderful way to experience the City of Light. They're all so true, and I'll try to embrace them, too! Thanks for sharing x

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTricia Rosas

Tricia--thank you so much! So glad you stopped by. LOVE Native Native...

June 23, 2014 | Registered CommenterAmy

I have a master plan to spend a few months in Paris with my family before I turn 30 so there is a good chance I'll be saving these rules. They're great! Really great. And I'm glad you shared them. Some are lessons that we could all do with applying, no matter where in the world you live.

September 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Liddell

Naomi! Thank you so much for your kind words. Here's hoping your own Paris Plan comes true. Good luck!

September 16, 2014 | Registered CommenterAmy

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