Our last night in Paris could not have been more perfect.
We had had our share of struggles in Paris, to say the least. The first day, our flight had been delayed so we missed out on several hours in the city and ended up getting out around 3 in the afternoon. We got lost more times than I could remember. One morning I felt so sick and nauseous from jet lag we couldn’t leave until 11. We took the wrong metro several times and, to top it all off, Kelly got stuck in the doors of the metro trying to get in at the last second. The last one was the funniest and the scariest experience we had ever had.
But none of that (not even getting caught in a metro door) mattered anymore on our last night in the City of Light.
We went to the top of the Eiffel Tower around sunset and it was breathtaking. The city truly is so beautiful. The buildings are all so classic and unique. We talked a few times about how easily you could tell apart the modern architecture of the city. The monuments were so massive. It moved me to be in such a historic and gorgeous city where so much had happened and so much inspiration and creativity had flourished.
We knew the Tower flashed the first 5 minutes of every hour and were looking forward to seeing that. All the sudden it was 10 p.m. and we were still inside the tower trying to find the “Toilettes” (which are a lot harder to find than you’d think), when the lights started flashing. We couldn’t see them from inside looking for a bathroom. We were disappointed we had missed it and we didn’t think we could wait another hour to see it again because we wanted to get plenty of sleep for our last few hours in Paris the next day.
We ended up leaving the Tower and buying a couple Nutella Crepes from a stand at the bottom. SO GOOD. We walked across the bridge to get a better view of the tower then decided we’d go home. But then we heard music coming from this place where people went to get a better view of the Eiffel Tower. We walked over and saw a street musician with a guitar and a few listeners. It didnt seem like much out of the ordinary, but eventually we sat down to listen for a few minutes…which turned into hours.
The musician started off by saying something like “I want you all to know I have a job, I work hard just like you, this is not something I do for money but because I love to sing with you all.”
More and more people came to listen and eventually it was a large crowd. He sang most songs in English, but occasionally one or two in Spanish. But what was special was each time he asked for requests, he asked the person who had requested the song to come up and sing with him because he needed help with some lyrics (his English wasn’t perfect afterall). It became so personal when crowd members walked up to help. Kelly and I felt like we were watching our friends sing.
He sang beautiful songs that reached everyone, because most people around were of different backgrounds. A guy from Moscow requested “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. 5 girls from Brazil went up and sang a song popular in Brazil and called themselves the “Spice Girls from Brazil.”
Then he just sang songs like “Let it Be” and “Imagine” that truly made me feel thankful to be alive and sitting in Paris watching this man sing. Songs that made me feel so connected to all these people I had never met and probably never would again. It was moving and touching and gave me the clarity I needed to see one thing: I was right where I needed to be. This trip came at a great point in my life. I need to see different cultures. I need to broaden my experiences and meet those from other places. But not just meet them – relate to them on some level. This level was music. I almost cried from how perfect it all felt.
Paris had been hard. I’d never travelled anywhere outside of the U.S. essentially on my own. I’ve never had to figure things out entirely as I go. I needed this push and this challenge to move past who I am and into who I should be.
So this was all completely new to me. But I loved every second of it and wouldn’t trade the challenges for the world. I’m just thankful to be here. And thankful to see the way people from all over the world can relate to this exact feeling.
We were having such a great time we forgot how late it was and stayed out until the tower flashed and sparkled again. Things have a way of working out when you stop worrying about them.