A Dream Come True: Paris with a Backpack

Paris 28 July 2011


Thirteen years ago, in July 1998, I sat at a dust-covered table in the same room in which I’m typing this post, and wrote a deposit cheque.

It’s a long story, but for now I’ll just say that despite concerns and objections from a number of people close to me, my own fear I’d somehow lose my life savings, and the fact that I lived 10,000 miles away, in Sydney, Australia, I took a leap of faith in one of those ‘follow your bliss’ decisions. I’ve never felt such joy in spending my hard-earned money.

I began dreaming of living in Paris when I was nine years old, and in all the years since, one of my goals has been to travel here with minimal luggage — because I’d have my own place, and could leave personal possessions there.

Much has happened to change my life since I wrote that check. It’s taken longer than I planned, but this evening, Clive and I arrived in Paris with only our backpacks. No suitcases. No wheelie bags. After a lifetime of dreaming about it, I finally have enough of my own stuff in my own space in Paris, and thanks to Clive helping me rationalise what I carried, tonight a dream came true.

And for all of the above, I feel very blessed, indeed.

Cheers and more from Paris soon.

14 Responses

  1. How wonderful! Enjoy…am thinking fondly of Paris as you are there and hoping you have a great time. Please have a crepe for me! -Wendy B

  2. Your travels and family obligations have been monumental – how nice you can just “pop” over to your apartment with a backpack and enjoy one of your favorite places! Lots of love, Lamontski

  3. WendyB, thanks so much for your comment! I’m so glad to ‘see’ you here, and especially that you have fond memories of Paris. Will definitely have a crepe for you!

    Mary, really appreciate your wishes – thanks for commenting and sharing our travels 🙂


  4. Carolyn,

    It’s one of the many benefits of living in England!..you really can pop over.. So good to hear from you again and follow your adventures in your new home. Your pic – with backpack is great. John and I will be in Paris just a few days in October..can’t wait to see what it will be like in the fall. Take care and give our best to Clive.

  5. What a very sweet post! How great it is that your dreams have come true in this way! We’ll definitely have to work out a meeting soon!

  6. Hooray! A dream come true. so happy for you!!

  7. Fabulous dream and truly blessed, how amazing to be sooo close now and just hopping over to you place 🙂 love to you and Clive.

    Oh you must try and meet up with Paris Paul and Karin , I met karin last year and we met up this year too, with Dawn and Barbara and another friend of mine Jennifer, we all met up at Karins place and that is when I met Paul , when he arrived home .. Lovely people .

    Have fun xo

  8. Hi Carolyn,

    Are you guys in Paris, then??? Oh wow.. I hope so.. If so, maybe you can see me while I’m at hospital this coming weekend… We’re in Vienna now so it’s not possible for me to see you until after my surgery on Thursday – maybe on the 5th or 7th, 8th? Who knows??
    I’ll send you an email…
    Hugs, Leese

  9. Hi Carolyn & Clive,

    I think the story behind this apartment is fabulous. Of course, other people don’t always understand another person’s dream. I could see it and hear it in my parent’s faces when I announced my departure to France. So, I can relate.
    Have a great stay at your second home and you know how to contact me.

    Have a great day

  10. Hey, we arrived in Paris the same day!:) Except that I was only there for the weekend… oh well:) I’m just a few hours away by train, so I’ll soon return:)

    I too am planning on having my own little pied-à-terre in Paris before long… even though I was able to travel there with only a backpack this weekend, I totally understand your need to have your own little piece of Paris. I’m dreaming of the day when I’ll be going HOME to Paris, even for just a week at a time:)

  11. Congrats to you my American/Aussie/Parisian friend on following your bliss.

    The Handyman and I are yet about a year out from at least part-time following our own blend of bliss travelling the backroads of North American in our little fibreglass trailer nicknamed Li’l Scamp.

    As you have so often said to others….good onya, mate.

  12. A belated but sincere thanks for your comments!

    MarthaB, ooohhh October should be MAGNIFICENT – have a wonderful trip and I’m sure you will! ParisPaul P, great to hear from you and I hope you and Paris Karin have had a good summer, wherever you may be. KimB, always wonderful to see and hear from you! Leesa, Anne, hope you are both well and feeling as good as possible after your various hospital visits. xpat92, you’re a sweetie and I hope to see you again soon 🙂 Duchesse, welcome and your plans sound excellent and I think we’re on the same wavelength about Paris! And Outlaw – wonderful to ‘see’ you — I so appreciate your kind wishes, and wish you and your Handyman a joyful bliss-following in L’il Scamp – what a great name! Go for it!

    Cheers all.

  13. Congratulations on your dream becoming real! I know some of what you must’ve been feeling, and it really is incredible. I love hearing about when people’s leaps of faith work out so well. Enjoy every moment. 🙂

  14. Sharell, thank you! I know you understand in a big way 🙂

    Here’s to following our dreams and taking those leaps of faith!


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