Ever since I was about 15 years old, I have wanted to visit Paris, France. I don’t even remember what started the desire. It started and grew as an inside joke with my best friend. We were going to go to Paris together. So we bought one another anything Paris related over the years.

I turned 30 this past summer. My best friend moved to the other side of the United States and got married. My dream was slipping away. I was sick and tired of people buying me anything related to Paris, France, The Eiffel Tower, etc. It was like rubbing it in my face that I was never going to make it there. I didn’t have enough money. I didn’t have the courage. I didn’t have anyone to go with me. There were a bunch of reasons that kept me from going. 

I finally realized that if I was ever going to go to Paris, then I needed to make it happen now before the dream slipped away completely. I took on an extra position at work tutoring students after school for two hours a day, four days a week. That extra money would probably pay for a plane ticket. I researched hotels, hostels, and Air BnB. I figured that my tax return money could be spending money, and I would just try to do a lot of saving since I no longer have a car payment.

The downfall was that I would be going alone. In a sense, this was okay with me. It would give me the absolute freedom that I desired to explore France in the way that I wanted to see it. The more research I did, the more calls I made about booking the flight, the more afraid I became of going alone. It wasn’t being there alone that frightened me. I have this strange feeling as trips get closer that I just don’t want to go. I want to back out of the trip. It’s too much of a hassle. Too much stress. I really have a phobia of going to the airport, finding a place to park, and going through baggage claim. 

When I had finally figured that I was more likely to back out of the trip than go, I found a travel partner. Jokingly one day I mentioned to my co-worker that she should go with me to Europe. She is married and has a little boy who is almost two-years-old, so I figured she probably wouldn’t be leaving for a week to galavant around Europe with me; however, the next morning I received a text message from her that she had spoken with her husband and was on board for going with me if I really did want a friend to go.

And so the journey really began to start planning the trip, and now we are down to less than 30 days before we leave.