When I first went to Paris, I have to admit, I did the whole tourist thing. You’re probably going to laugh at me because I was a total travel newbie.it really dawned on me that there was a big difference between travelling and touring.
When somebody is touring a particular travel location, what they are actually doing is that they are going to get on a bus and have some sort of plastic indicator or sticker that they put in on their chest. Everybody in their travel group has the same thing done to them. The travel group leader would then have some sort of specially colored plastic flag or rubber flag, and you are supposed to follow that flag so you can gather at the right time for your bus can take you from your points of destination.
I did that thing. And while it was fun to a certain extent, it was really kind of cheap, too. I don’t mean cheap in the monetary sense (because I paid several thousand dollars to pay for my family’s travel to Paris; the cost was definitely no joke). Instead, it was cheap in terms of quality, because it seems superficial. It was like you are trying to meet some sort of quota, like you are running some sort of a race.
You don’t really sulk in the local flavors; you don’t really experience the French soul. Instead, it was like you have several postcards of French destinations arranged in your head and you are hurriedly going from postcard to postcard. Talk about a joy kill. Talk about a weird way to experience what should be a life-changing adventure.
Thankfully, the next time I went to Paris, I decided to make things up. I skip out on package tours and instead, saved a lot of money renting an AirBnB unit in a district of Paris that is close enough to the city center while not being too expensive or unsafe.
In other words, it was the best of both worlds. I was actually paying rent in that place that is comparable to the rent prevalent in my neck of the woods in California. So during my second trip with my family, we decided to explore Paris the way a local would.
So we would eat at local, eateries, which are not very fancy, and believe me, it was such a better experience because you get to see the City of Lights from the perspective of the people who live there.
That’s how you connect with the French soul. That’s how you get what they are getting. To top it all, I rented the kind of Segway board UK travelers like to use. My son loved it. He was all 8 months old at that time so I had a little backpack and when I was moving the Segway, he would just giggle. I still remember those happy sounds he was making. It really made the trip all that memorable.
So do yourself a big favor. If you are looking to truly explore the very best that France has to offer- and believe me, there’s a lot that you might want to make things up or you might want to go off the beaten path.
Try seeing a popular travel destination using a Segway board. That way, you are going to experience something that you probably won’t get if you are taking some sort of tour package group.
Again, I’m not putting that down, but there’s a lot to be desired. You don’t want to be a shepherd who moves from place to place, nor do you want to be fed like cattle. Also you don’t want to travel as though you are beating some sort of a clock or trying to meet some sort of quota.