I let myself sleep in a little and slowly packed my suitcase to go home. I said goodbye to my charming little hotel room and upon checking out, exchanged a few nice words with the man behind the desk.
Wanting to soak up every ounce of Paris I could before I left, I returned to the Ille de St. Louise, eating a long, leisurely breakfast at the cafe next to the one I had eaten at the night before.
Still having a half hour before I had to make my way to the train station, I took my suitcase out onto the Pont Louis Philippe where I had been seduced by the city just 12 hours prior. I simply stood there, looking out over the city, a light breeze playing through my hair, sun warm on my back.
I knew I would return. I already had a list for my next visit and while I could never live there (my love of Munich would never allow me, even if I could), I knew whenever I wanted to run away somewhere, it would be there. The time finally drawing near, I made my way back to the Gare d’l Est, bidding farewell to the enchanting city that had swept me off my feet.
The train carries me swiftly eastbound, my head still swimming with all that I have seen, smelled, tasted, heard, and felt. The experience not only of a vibrant city of history, culture, and splendor, but that of doing it alone. I reflect on the delicious sensation of pure solitude and independence. The feeling that the world belongs to you and only you because in that moment, your heart opens itself up and receives all that is good, giving back to the world all that is good in you. Your thoughts and opinions on all that surrounds you are yours, uninfluenced by any around you. You find yourself in the company of the real you. Not the you that you shape yourself into for the benefit of others, but pure, undiluted, untainted you. And with delight, you find that that you is someone you actually like very much. The trick now is to make her more present in your daily life. There, she is most certainly welcome along for the ride.