These are the coordinates of my favorite place on Earth.
The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France.
Maybe it was because I felt like I truly became an adult here. I just graduated college 2 days prior to coming to France. I completed immersed myself here. Learned a new culture and language. I learned to ride Subways and Trains, I traveled around the country learning new things, speaking to new people, and experiencing new things–such as escargot–which is not my thing. I learned to keep cool during strange situations, such as a gal losing her cool in public, a man tracing lines on the back of my friends legs, pick pockets and theft, homelessness as a career. Thankfully I was pro at reading maps–which REALLY helps.
I was all over France prior to just spending 3 days in Paris. Yet it was here where I realized that I don’t ever want to give up traveling. Give up being wide-eyed at the world. No matter what horrible things are happening. I gave myself permission to still be a kid and love new places and new people, and to try everything (that will not kill me). Who am I kidding, I almost died in Provence twice. The first time I literally got hit by a car that was driving on the sidewalk, and I had an allergic reaction to shrimp while sharing a very alcoholic beverage with my friend and roommate who was having a heavenly shrimp cocktail.
Regardless, this was the first time I traveled with absolutely no member of my family. I was completly independent. I had friends which I was very thankful for.
Without my experience in France, I would never have forced myself to see the rest of the world. It opened up so many doors for me. It changed what I wanted to do with my life. It changed everything that I had previously worked towards. I felt completely free. I felt invincible. I felt alive. It changed everything.
Where was the place that completely changed you?