So it’s been a while since I last wrote. I guess everything just started to become normal. The days became regulated and my life kind of became the same thing but a different day. Don’t get me wrong, I made sure I was always busy at the weekends going out, shopping and drinking lots of coffee. However, the au pair side of life just seemed to go on as usual: good days, bad days, stressful days, the list goes on. I have been here for five and a half months now and my life has just settled! My head has adjusted to the changes, and I have accepted Paris as my home now. Yaaaay for Paris. Although I was never in any doubt that this would happy eventually.
As a result of this normality, a friend and I decided it was time to start exploring not just Paris, but other parts of France. Of course there are so many places we could have visited such as Lyon, Strasbourg, Brittany and Normandie but we decided to stick to something a little smaller and go to Lille. The main reasons being that it was close to travel to (an hour to an hour and half), it was cheaper to travel to and the hotels were cheaper to. As you can see there is a running theme here, we are au pairs after all! We managed to book our train tickets and two nights stay in a hotel right beside the station for around €100. You could of course do this for cheaper if you got the bus.
The main aim of this trip was really just to enjoy being away getting some space from the host family, and chill! Life in Paris can be a bit hectic with working and studying throughout the week and then trying to fit as much fun stuff in during the weekend. I needed a chilled weekend full of good food and good coffee.
Lille is a gorgeous place with its skinny buildings and cute architecture. Everything was small and batched together which really gave it a sense of homeliness, and I would look around and keep saying aww it’s just so cute I’d definitely live here. One of the main reasons for this statement is it has a real sense of simple life there. Paris of course is beautiful and Lille has that too but without the major hustle and bustle that Paris has. We could walk on the pavement without having to continuously dodge people and we could even shop in well known stores in peace. Yes like entering Zara and being able to move! This was a luxury I forgot existed…on a Saturday afternoon anyway (ultimately leading me to spend more money that I didn’t really have to spend, oops). One of the downsides however was that Paris will always have something to do, there will always be another restaurant to visit, another coffee shop to try etc., whereas Lille was more of a try everything and after that redo kind of place.
We managed to spend our whole weekend drinking coffee, walking around, shopping, eating and chilling together. When I returned to my host family and they asked me what I had done a smiled back and said basically nothing and it was bliss. I really enjoyed my trip away, and I would encourage others to do the same while you have the chance! Maybe next time we will go for a more active trip but for now Lille was ‘just what the doctor ordered’.