Three Travel Tips

Before this most recent trip to Munich and Paris, I hadn’t travelled internationally in a few years. After having been to places like Budapest and Bangkok, Sydney and Santiago, I was out of practice.

To get back in gear, I reviewed travel sites for advice. There are three things I never saw mentioned and I want to remember them for my next trip:

Get to Where You Want to Go

Plan exactly how you will get from place to place and assume that something will go wrong with your tether to the internet so Google maps will be of no help. Often the weak link in my travel chain was from public transportation to whatever it was I was trying to get to—the four-room hotel in Munich, the Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris. After walking in a circle in Munich because I didn’t remember streets I thought I would remember, I learned my lesson and applied it in Paris. I would plan my trip when I had a good internet connection and take screenshots on my phone for reference as I made my way. It worked.

Paris subway stops

Be There

My original flight home from Paris was scheduled to depart at 7:00 a.m., so for the last night I opted to change my hotel to one at the Charles de Gaulle airport. I could have gotten a room at the Hilton but that would have been like staying at a hotel in the United States, not like being There. So I got a room at the Citizen M, whose parent company is headquartered in Amsterdam.

There were immediate clues this would be different:

Paris hotel no smoking

My room was tiny, just wide enough for the queen platform bed that fit between the two side walls and under the glass window of the far wall. The size of the room forced intelligent design decisions, like a curved sink cabinet with a custom fit trash basket that just cleared the open shower door.

Paris hotel tiny sink

An iPad in the room greeted me and managed all the electronic room controls (lights, temperature, TV, blinds).

Paris hotel iPad

The shower was simply a column of frosted glass with it’s own mood lighting. When I powered up the room lights it was purple. The iPad let me change it to greenish-blue to make showering feel more like swimming.

Paris hotel curved glass shower

The room included a booklet of information—French in one direction, flip upside down for English—and encouragement to travel.

Remember That You Were There

I am writing this in Cincinnati on Friday morning. Two mornings ago I woke up at the Citizen M outside of Paris. It is hard for me to believe that less than a week ago I had brunch with Catherine in Paris and less than two weeks ago I went with Sabine and Edwin to the Buchheim Museum of Phantasy in Munich.

To remind me that I was there, two things I do are:

  • Take a picture of my feet as proof.
My shoes on the steps of the Rodin museum
  • Buy local toothpaste, a twice-a-day reminder that yes, Jule, you really were in Paris. That dream you had for so long, you made it come true.
French toothpaste box
Note the braille on the box 🙂

Chewing the Cud of Good

sculpture l'ours blanc

I am grateful to have basked at the feet of l’Ours blanc.

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