During my first trip to France in 2005, I mistakenly thought: I don’t need to visit the Eiffel Tower because I am going to do non-tourist activities. A few years later, my friend Sarah, who was living in London at the time, took us on a great bike tour of Paris during which we stopped at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower and that is when I started to appreciate its magnificence.
Moving my entire life to a country where I am not working, do not speak the language and am 9 hours later from my old life, I have to really love where I am moving to and the reasons why I am doing it. I have loved Paris and France since the moment I arrived in 2005. Though nothing prepared me for how difficult setting up my life would be here. From the banking pin numbers (you don’t get to choose your own) to the never ending paperwork to finding familiar household and grocery items, have all been a challenge with the added stress that much of it requires my husband translating. With those daily challenges, I knew there had to be something that was inspiring me not to give up. I have a few reasons for my inspiration but the one that I was most surprised with his how in love I fell with La Tour Eiffel.
During our first month in Paris we rented bikes to go on a picnic. We have a few parks around us and decided just to see which one looked the best. But after biking for about 5 minutes I said “Let’s go to the Eiffel Tower!” We headed up the Seine and in 10 minutes there we were! The bikes were parked, the picnic was out and we were on the grass amongst all the people enjoying the lovely day. It dawned on me at that time that most of the people around me were tourists and some of them have saved up for years just to come to Paris and see La Tour Eiffel and I was lucky enough to be able to decide on whim to turn my wheels North and and enjoy the sights at a moments notice.
I am currently training for a half marathon that starts and ends at La Tour Eiffel. My training route is up the Seine towards La Tour Eiffel and it always makes the run a little easier to see this beautiful landmark in the distance. So on those days when my mood is dragging, I remind myself how fortunate I am to live in this magnificent, winding, and historically rich city by looking up at the skyline to find La Tour Eiffel.