Following the adage of "there is no time like the present" I had just completed the first step to my first trip to Europe. This was July 2015, and Laurent Chevalier was going to spend thanksgiving in Paris.
The summer passed, and with time the immediacy of the trip faded away. I had other trips planned, friends to see, and ribs that needed to be grilled. However, once candy corn and sexy ghouls appeared, marking the unofficial beginning of the holiday season, the trip began to loom larger.
The shadow of that trip loomed it's largest, and took a menacing turn on November 13, 2015. At the time of the attacks, the only real step I had taken toward the plans of my trip involved clicking "purchase" for a flight, and telling anyone who made the mistake of bringing up traveling that I was embarking on my first Paris trip. At this point though, very little was actually invested into the occurrence of the trip.
With the attacks came first feelings of horror and disgust at the atrocities committed. These feelings were followed by the admittedly selfish thought of "well what happens to my trip?" I was scheduled to depart on November 24, mere days after the attacks, and at this point I didn't even know where I was staying yet. After many warnings and motherly advice against proceeding, I booked a room in an Airbnb in the 10th arr. and began packing my bags.
I landed at Charles De Gaulle airport on the cool morning of November 25, frantically trying to recollect my college French for metro directions. I'd made it to Paris after all.
To to be continued...