Before I left for France, I decided to formulate a bucket list of the places I wanted to go and see while I was abroad. I figured now that I’ve basically run out of time to complete my bucket list, I’d take you through some of the things I got to check off.
- Disneyland Paris
This had been on my list from the get-go. I was certain I wanted to visit Disneyland Paris and see what it was all about. I know that it’s not necessarily super popular among the Europeans, especially the French, but from Paris it’s only about an hour on the train, so I felt I couldn’t not visit. One of my friends back at my home university also really hoped to visit Disney as well, so all along we had planned to go together. When she came to visit in February, I went with her, and I got to go again with a friend from the IES Abroad program later in March.
- Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Throughout Paris, there’s countless parks and green spaces, so many that it would take a while to get through seeing all of them during the few months of study abroad. This location was added onto my bucket list about halfway through my time in Paris after I saw pictures of it on Instagram. It’s one of the bigger parks in Paris and there’s what essentially is a constructed mountain in a pond with a temple at the top. The pathway up to the temple was closed, but I still got to walk across the bridge that looked straight out of an adventure movie and explore a bit. It’s also a great spot to sit out in the sun and study or have a picnic. I made it here the week before exams, so I found a nice spot and reviewed my notes for a bit.
- Palais Garnier
I mentioned this location once before in a blog post, but it’s another spot that I knew I wanted to visit before I ever arrived in Paris. This opera is the place that inspire the novel “The Phantom of the Opera”. I toured the opera twice, once in English and once in French; I didn’t understand everything that was said in the French tour, so I decided to go a second time once they were offering the tour in English again. The opera district is also a beautiful area and it’s one of my favorite areas in general. There’s a very fancy Starbucks just around the corner from the Palais Garnier (though the prices are more expensive there then elsewhere in Paris). The metro stop at the opera is also my favorite because there’s silhouettes of performers and backstage helpers scattered throughout decorating the walls.
This village was the third place added to my bucket list—another one that made the list before my arrival. Auvers-sur-Oise is still a part of the Paris region, so I could use my metro pass to get out here. When Vincent Van Gogh moved back to the Paris region, this is the village he settled in and would eventually die in. The inn he stayed at is still open and has preserved his room so that visitors can tour it. The grave site for Vincent and his brother Theo are in the village too—along with other Vincent Van Gogh based sites. I also loved this village because all of the people were so friendly, and I got to have a long conversation with the worker in a chocolate shop…all in French!
These four places are just a few stops on my bucket list. I think making the bucket list and being willing to be flexible with it was a great decision. Making one for your study abroad is a great opportunity and helps you keep track of where you’re going and what to do; you feel like you have so much time and simultaneously none and my bucket list really helped me make sure I saw everything I wanted to do before I left.
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<p>Bonjour! My name is Julianna Caskie (she/her) and I am from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I’m a junior at Lehigh University studying political science with minors in both architecture studio as well as women, gender, and sexuality studies (strange combo, I know). In my free time I love to read, travel, dance, and compete in Mock Trial tournaments with my team. I can’t wait to share my journey in Paris with you!</p>