I love to travel solo but it can get lonely, going days without a real conversation, having to plan everything. The worst is when I’m somewhere amazing, seeing something beautiful, and all I want is someone to share it with. Company makes the experience much brighter.
Spoiler alert, I found someone to share it with. His name is Matt. In March 2018 we moved in together into a small, 2-bedroom apartment between Somerville and Cambridge. It was a quirky apartment but I’ll
rant reminisce about that another time.
One day I found cheap flights to Paris, because I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive flights to anywhere. I’ve been to France before but Matt had not, and he agreed to be my plus one for the trip.
We started in Paris and met my old friend Matt (yet another Matt) who was doing the “digital nomad thing”. As luck would have it there was a Fête de Pain (festival of bread) in front of Notre Dame, so we munched on baguettes as we strolled around the city. We passed a protest at La Bastille and ended our first day by splitting a bottle of wine on the steps of Montmartre.
I’ve gotta admit, Paris is a lot more fun with a special someone to share it with. I finally understood the romance of walking along the Seine and picnicking under the Eiffel tower, wandering the Musée D’Orsay and walking down the middle of the Champs-Élysées, which was closed for pedestrians.
The real highlight was finding the best chocolate croissant in Paris, possibly in the world. Trust me, I have eaten a lot of chocolate croissants and this one was so flakey, buttery, and chocolatey that we ended up going back again before we left France a week later. Don’t believe me? Go to Pastry Cyril Lignac and tell me I’m wrong. I dare you. There are two locations, I’m sure both are incredible but I can personally vouch for the one near the Champs-Élysées.
Our next stop, Annecy, ended up being our favorite. The view from our room looked out over the little town next to the lake, with the mountains in the distance. We only had one night there so we packed in as much biking, hiking, and cheese fondue as possible.
Unfortunately our next stop didn’t go as smoothly so we only spent one night in Grenoble before busing to Aix-en-Provence, the home of Paul Cézanne and a pretty university. We walked up to the hilltop where Cézanne frequently painted Mont Sainte-Victoire and after a few minutes the clouds and mist cleared enough so that we could see the distant shape of the mountain, just as Cézanne had seen it.
We spent a couple days working remotely from Montpellier before returning to Paris to visit the Louvre and to eat one more chocolate croissant, before returning to Somerville.