ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE: How to Spend 72 HOURS IN PARIS, FRANCE

WARNING: RECREATION OF THIS BLOG POST WILL INVOLVE OVER 27,000 STEPS PER DAY.

A couple of weeks ago, I returned from my 4 days, 3 nights trip to Paris (it totals to about 72 hours). It was a city break with my Mum after finishing my A Levels this summer. Not to mention, Paris in the summer is spectacular.

First off, I want to say that you are having doubts about visiting Paris, clear them off now! My whole trip was an experience I will never forget. The city is full of culture, music and – of course – food!  I am already planning my next trip back, maybe in December, to see Paris in Winter.

Second, 72 hours in Paris is enough! From reading this title, you may have thought, 72 hours… is that it? But I can assure you, I managed to see everything on my list and more…

So, How do you spend 72 hours in Paris? Just keep reading…

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Tuesday Early Afternoon 

Aim to arrive in the afternoon. We travelled from London to Paris on the Eurostar (which I highly recommend) and arrived at around 13:45. Buy a block of 10 metro tickets from the metro station and take the metro to your hotel. Our hotel check-in time was 14:00; so we were able to check in straight away. I recommend booking a hotel or Airbnb in the Latin Quarter because not only is this one of the nicer areas of Paris, it is close to the centre and has some of the cheapest food! Freshen up and head out to enjoy the rest of the day! First, head towards the Notre Dame. This is in the 4th Arrondissement – known as Le Marais. Grab a snack from a boulangerie along the way, by snack I mean a croissant, of course, the national food of France. Make sure you walk to the Notre Dame (it’s not that far!) as you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Paris whilst walking along the Seine. Once you’ve arrived at the Notre Dame, take a quick pic stop (see what I did there)OPTIONAL: You can head into the Notre Dame and see the amazing cathedral from the inside, but I recommend saving your money.

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Tuesday Mid Afternoon 

The perks of visiting Paris in the summer is that it is light in the city until about 10 pm. After leaving the Notre Dame, follow the Seine into the 1st Arrondissement to see the Lourve and the Tuileries Gardens. Whilst strolling along the Seine, you might catch a glimpse of our good ol’ friend, the Eiffel Tower. Once again, if you want to spend 100 euros to go and see an over-rated painting of the Mona Lisa, feel free, if not… let’s move on! One thing I do recommend is visiting the Tuileries Gardens, these are within the Palais Royal and they are absolutely stunning. Moving on from the Lourve, walk along the Seine and take your time to absorb the life and movement in Paris. Cross the Seine on the famous Love-Lock Bridge (please note: I think the original bridge, all the locks have been removed, but another one is forming…). Head in the direction of the Eiffel Tower in the 7th Arrondissement. Make a food stop in a Franprix, which is a supermarket chain in Paris. The one we stopped in on the way to the Eiffel Tower had a Salad Bar. It only cost 6 euros per person for a large bowl of salad, and then about 60 cents for a baguette. Also, paper bags are not free as they are in the UK. Once arriving at the Eiffel Tower, take a seat in the Park and enjoy your lunch. (please note: be aware that there are many sellers offering different souvenirs, try not to reply because they will eventually walk away.)

Tuesday Evening

After taking in the view of the magnificent Eiffel Tower, cross the street and head towards the Trocadero Square. This has the best views of the Eiffel Tower and surprisingly wasn’t that busy in the Evening. Take a pic stop. There is always lots of musicians and dancers on the square, enjoy a moment watching. Stay here to watch the sunset over Paris.

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WARNING: At this point, your feet may be tired and your shoulders may ache. But, the evening has just begun…

Leave Trocadero on the roundabout side and take a stroll down the avenue towards the Champs Elysees. From Trocadero, you will arrive near the Arc de Triomphe. Brave the horrendous roundabout and take a pic stop. The best photos are from the middle of the roundabout rather than directly under the Arc. I would recommend going up the Arc de Triomphe rather than the Eiffel Tower because the view of Paris is definitely better and you have the Eiffel Tower in your photos.

If you aren’t feeling too tired, walk along the Avenue des Champs-Elysees and look at all the luxurious shops. (keyword here: look – very expensive shops). Head towards the nearest metro station and back to your hotel.

Wednesday Morning 

Welcome to the first full day in Paris. Take a moment to watch the city wake from the balcony view of your hotel. Then get ready to travel out to Versailles – home to the Palace of Versailles. If you want to save money, don’t spend it on the buffet breakfast provided at the Hotel, instead of this, step out and head to a street because I assure you, you will find a cute boulangerie.  They are literally everywhere you turn. Grab some pastries and head towards your nearest metro station. Take the metro to the stop – Javel. Another photo opportunity of the Eiffel Tower from a distance. Buy a train ticket, and take the RER C line to the stop Gare de Versailles Chateau Rive Gauche. 

Spend the morning at the palace, make sure you head out early to avoid the cues, aim to arrive between 9 – 10 am as this is when the palace opens. To skip the cues, buy your tickets in advance. I made the mistake of waiting in the ticket queue even though under 26-year-olds are able to get in free with a valid passport from the EU (please check this as I am not 100% sure). Take in the grandeur of the palace and make sure to get the free audio guide. Walk around the magnificent gardens and see the mini chateaus. My experience at the Palace taught me a lot about the history of the Royals in France and also, the magnitude and money they had made me understand why the French had a revolution.

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Wednesday Afternoon 

Spend the afternoon exploring the town of Versailles. There are some cute shops and market stalls in Versailles. (I visited the LDS temple, as I am a Mormon and it is so beautiful and peaceful there, I would definitely recommend even if you’re not Mormon lol.) Grab lunch from a stand or a fast food shop; then head back to Paris for an evening of shopping and exploring more of the city.

Wednesday Evening 

Arrive back in Paris and take the Metro to Galleries Layfette Montparnasse. Embrace the Parisian style and culture with a spot of shopping in the 15th arrondissement. Then, walk back through the beautiful streets and buy a crepe at a sweet stand. The only type of crepes I bought was Nutella. My weak spot… As well as this, the shops will be starting to close and the pubs will be opening. If you are lucky, you may be the last customer at a pastry shop and they will gift you with free pastries to take home and enjoy. Take a stroll back to your hotel and digest the sweet sounds of a Paris summer evening.

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Thursday Morning 

Once again, an early start. It’s a museum day. Start the morning on the streets of Paris and grab some pastries (don’t worry all this walking is burning the calories off…), take a stop at the Fontaine Saint Michel. Thursday’s are market days in Paris, there is an opportunity to buy some Parisian scarves and bags from the stands. Head along the Seine to the Musee d’Orsay. The Musee d’Orsay features some of the most famous pieces of artwork by Van Gogh, Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Rodin.

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Thursday Afternoon 

From the Musee d’Orsay take the metro to the 18th Arrondissement. We are now entering the more residential areas of Paris. The 18th is home to the infamous Sacre Coeur and the Moulin Rouge. But first stop, Sacre Coeur. Feel free to climb the 300 or so stairs to the top, others there is a little lift which takes you to the top level which only costs 1.90 euros (a metro ticket). From the Sacre Coeur take a pic stop and admire the skyline views of Paris. You never realise how big Paris is until you have seen this view. I would recommend heading to the back of the Sacre Coeur as it is significantly less busy and just as picturesque to get those Insta Pics. Also, there is a garden area which is like a sacred sanctuary from the business of Paris, behind the Sacre Coeur. After spending an hour or so admiring the beautiful church, the inside and the out (p.s. there is an opportunity to take time to reflect within the church), head back down the slope to the main streets and stop at a cute cafe for a quick drink. This is another cheap food area for all my foodies reading; so embrace it! Then head uptown towards the Moulin Rouge.

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Thursday Late Afternoon

Now, I wouldn’t recommend visiting the Moulin Rouge at night, unless you are planning to take part in the nighttime entertainment (no judgements here). But, if you are visiting Paris as a family or even alone, I would say go mid-afternoon to admire one of the last remaining windmills in Paris and the area around. I went in the Late Afternoon and walking through the park towards the Moulin Rouge, I did feel that I was getting a few looks from certain people in the park, so I would definitely recommend going a bit earlier or with other people, if you are just visiting the area.

Thursday Evening 

From the Moulin Rouge, there is a bus that takes you right across town to Trocadero for only 1.90 euros (metro ticket). A positive about Paris is that the transport is very advanced and easy to navigate. Enjoy an evening tour of the city as the bus heads through the winding streets back to the centre of Paris. Finish the evening enjoying the lights on Trocadero Square. Make sure to snap some photos.

Friday Morning 

WELL DONE!! You’ve made it to your last morning in Paris after countless steps walked through the old cobblestone streets, be proud to say, you have survived 72 hours in Paris. I spent the last morning to visit more of the Latin Quartier, this included a trip to the local natural history museum and the zoo. Then headed back to Gard du Nord on the Eurostar. HOME AT LAST…

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If you have made it this far, thank you x

p.s. it took me a very long time to write this blog post, I lost motivation to blog, I had writer’s block, A-levels results day, something just didn’t want me to write but I want to document my life in the best way I know how… SO I’M BACK (again) and I’m ready to be better!

As always,

Thanks for reading and peace out,

Accidental Aspirationalists x

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VERY LAST MINUTE REVISION TIPS: SCHOOL EDITION

Welcome back to another blog post!

First off, I’d like toapologise for not writing a blog post in a while… but after reading this you will probably realise why…

So, today marks 7 weeks until my first exam. My first real, determining the rest of my life, actually exam. I have been revising for a while now, but would I really be a student if I didn’t have the niggle of doubt in my mind that I haven’t done enough?

Anyhow, I thought I would give you today some of my best tips (that do work might I add…) that will save you in the exam room.

REVISION TIP #1 – LITTLE AND OFTEN!

If you haven’t started revising now for GCSE’s, A LEVEL’s or any other exam you have this summer, this may not be the tip for you… but if you have been revising and looking at past papers since the day you were born, I would say it is time to plan and sit back to see what you need to do. Solidify that knowledge girl! Start looking over little sections you have done every day. I find this useful because it allows my mind to focus and look at the things I have already done. Also, it stops me from getting too stressed. FACT: the mind can only take in things 20 mins at a time. So a 20 min revision session is good, take a break, then come back to it. This is the most effective way of revising.

REVISION TIP #2 – LET IT ALL OUT! 

BLURT! BLURT! BLURT! This is another one of my favourite revision techniques. If you know me, you’ll know that I love to talk. When revising, I like to say things out loud and recite facts to myself because, for some reason, it stays in my brain. lol. Repeating things, allows those facts to move into your long-term memory so you can recall them in the exam room. Also, teaching other people what you know, (even if it’s just your mum!) can help solidify your own knowledge.

REVISION TIP #3 – EAT, DRINK, SLEEP, REPEAT

For me, I cannot miss an hour of my sleep. Not only will I be too tired but I won’t be able to concentrate at all. Sleep is a lot more important than people think in my opinion. Alongside sleep, comes food. I stress eat too much! Comment below if you suffer from this also. However, try and eat healthily… I’m not going to comment on this too much because I struggle to practice what I preach in this aspect. Lastly, drink water! I try and counterbalance the junk I eat with drinking loads of water, but I find it helps me focus and deals with the banging headaches I get when I am stressed.

REVISION TIP #4 – CHILLAX

If you are feeling really stressed and overwhelmed, it is likely that you are burnt out and overworked. My tip would be, just RELAX! Go for a jog, watch some Netflix, just take yourself away from revision and do what you enjoy. More often than not, this will help you become calm and come back to revision with a fresh mindset. 

That’s all for now! Comment below any more revision tips you may have to share! I could do with some newones… I hope everything is going well for you guys.

Peace out, Accidental Aspirationalists

Love Anita x

Follow my socials: instagram | pinterest | twitter

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Travel Bucket List 2018 – Sun, Freedom and Exploring

Summer is close by. Which for me, unlike the ordinary teens, means one thing… TRAVELLING! While many teens look forward to a summer of festivals, I look forward to sun, freedom and exploring. I have a lot of things I want to do this year, not just this summer, and places I want to explore and get to know. I especially love city breaks and quick getaways! So, I thought I would do a post on the places I want to visit or am planning to visit this year. Feel free to comment what’s on your travel bucket list! 

Paris (going in July – comment below cool Parisian things to do while I’m there if you’ve been !!)

 

Copenhagen

 

Venice

 

New York

 

Canada

 

Nigeria

 

Iceland

 

Amsterdam

 

I’m keeping it relatively realistic of places I can go because I’m a student and I’m poor. Lol. If anyone wants to sponsor me (hint hotels, companies please pay me) for my trips that will be much appreciated!

Sorry, this is a quick blog post but I hope everyone enjoyed this little travel bucket list and have a good Easter.

Peace out, Accidental Aspirationalists xx

Love Anita x

Follow my socials: instagram | pinterest | twitter

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Mood Boards for 2018 GOALS

Welcome back to another blog post!

Below, I have made some creative mood boards that relate to many of my goals this year and ideas that any of you can try. These boards relate to many things that I want to achieve before the end of 2018. Don’t worry this is the end of my “New Year, New Me” posts and we’ll be back to my regular waffling soon. Love you all x

TRAVEL: Visit at least 3 different countries.

BEAUTY: Expand my makeup collection

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READING: Swap out my evening routine of TV Shows and Go back to Reading

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FITNESS: Just get fit.

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I hope you enjoyed looking at these as much as I enjoyed making them! I would suggest making your own and feel free to comment your goals below for the new year! Oh, you’ll either be happy to hear, my ramblings will be back next week or upset that my posts will not be as organised as these… (yeah, this is as organised as I get, sorry guyss)

Peace out,

Accidental Aspirationalist xx

(p.s. 1 week till my b-day! yayyy!)

Week Two – 2// The School Survival Guide: 3 golden rules to survive the first year of college

Welcome to a new segment of my blog called: THE SCHOOL SURVIVAL GUIDE: How to make it through hell.

College. The realm of inequity.

A short note: When I say college (6th form), I mean between the ages of 16-18 in the UK.

First off, college is hard. Questions run through the mind of a 16-year-old as they leave the big safe world of secondary school and are not so gently thrust into the adult world, unfortunately, hidden in the form of education. By this I mean, you may think you will get help. You won’t. When they say, “we will treat you like an adult” or “we won’t treat you like a child” they mean it. So here are some tips and tricks on how to survive the first year of college (I am now in year 13) if you’re smart, you will follow them. If you’re not, well… I wish you the best. May the odds be forever in your favour.

RULE #1: USE YOUR FREE PERIODS FOR STUDYING!

I don’t think I can stress this enough. Do not sit in the canteen, chatting to friends and buying glorious 25p hash browns. NO. Go the library, make notes, revise, from DAY ONE… ok maybe give yourself a bit of break, maybe from day 2. But do not spend the entire year doing what I call CANTEEN CRAP. If you still don’t understand let me put this in a real-life scenario. One day in the sweet old year of year 12, I was walking towards the canteen with my friends and I said out loud, mind you, so I addressed the issue; “I have chemistry homework due next, I should really go to the library and do it”. I continue walking to the canteen, the good old library settled back behind me. And that’s how most of my first year free periods happened. Do not make this mistake, I’m telling you, it will save you a whole ton of work come the end of year exams.

RULE #2: Ditch the friends.

Many of you may not like my opinion on this one but I can promise you if you follow my advice you will realise why I am saying this. Having lots of friends will distract you. I’m not saying, have no friends whatsoever. But, pick friends that motivate you. Boost you. And are fairly smart so you can copy them. Lol. On a serious note, college is a short time. 2 years of your life, so small but so so so important. Do not waste it trying to impress people.

RULE #3: Find a Hobby

So, this may not be the most useful piece of advice but it definitely helped me. It isn’t just about work and no play at college for the 2 years. I would say, start doing something that you really enjoy so that when you are taking a break from studying or it’s the holidays; you can have something to do which will maintain a healthy moral and you can de-stress. For example, my is playing an instrument (don’t get me wrong but it’s not always fun), or watching YouTube or writing a blog post. Whatever it is that helps you stick to it cause I promise it makes the time fly.

That’s my three golden rules and I promise you, you will make it through the first year of college.

Good luck and stay an accidental aspirationalist

Peace out x

Week Two – 1// It’s time to address this…

I think it’s finally time.

I started this blog just over a week ago and well, I think it’s time to address why it is called Accidental Aspirationalist.

SO, a while back, I read a book which is called The Accidental Adventurer by Ben Fogle, the book is about how he become an adventurer and all the different places he has travelled. But that wasn’t the most interesting part for me, I loved the way that he spoke about his childhood and how he used to dream big but people didn’t always believe in him.

I kind of feel sometimes it is the same for me. I have always had big dreams but I have not always had people backing me. Sometimes, it’s the people closest to you who hurt you even when they don’t know it. So, I decided to make my own way. To be who I want to be and what I am striving for whether or not people believe in me.

I want to give the same advice to all of you. Whether you have the whole world backing you or against you. KEEP GOING. DO NOT GIVE UP. Aim high and stay aiming high, do not change because you feel you may never make it. I can guarantee as long as you believe you can and you want something hard enough. You will make it.

Don’t me wrong, there are days where you may want to give up. To give up on that dream. But that’s why I believe in aspirations because they are real. You can grip them. They are possible. I tell myself that if someone else has managed to do it, I can too.

I hope these words don’t just go over your heads. Whatever you want to do, go for it.

And remember… always be an Accidental Aspirationalist

Peace out x

 

Week One – 1// Exams, stress, UKCAT…

My first blog post yeah!

Welcome family! So to start off- interest fact. Did you know that the average high school (secondary school/college- UK viewers) student today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950’s? No, well I confirm that is extremely true.

This week has probably been the ultimate stress week of this summer. After what seems like endless weeks of relaxing and probably spending 12 hours a day watching youtube videos; being confronted with the idea of going back to college next week and taking the UKCAT (which for those of you who don’t know, the UKCAT is the clinical aptitude test for medical school entry) was not my ideal way to end the summer. In fact, I felt stressed and anxious for the most part of the last couple of weeks.

On the happier side, I did the test today and well… I didn’t do too shabbily! So back to my last 36 hours of watching youtube videos for me I should think!

BAM!

I am very very wrong.

At the back of my mind, I can’t shake the feeling of stress because next week I know that the lack of sleep and piles of work will return and I don’t know if I’m fully prepared for it to be honest.  The life of an average teenager these days is not what the older generations think. (well in some aspects it probably is!) In fact, my life largely consists of completing assignments the day before and cramming textbooks.

On top of this, I have summer work to do, and we all know what that means. I haven’t done a single piece. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve planned to do it but I’ve just been so busy watching Game of Thrones so I haven’t found the time in my busy example of a life…

I well aware right now that I have portrayed myself as the perfect student. Obviously. But, I can reassure you when the time is ripe, I will get back to the grind (work- in case you don’t know what grind means) and get those grades!

After all, I want to be a doctor.

That brings me back to that point. I want to be a doctor. Yes, if you haven’t read my about page – which I strongly recommend – I have been working for the last couple of months on experience, my personal statement and a little bit on my grades. I say a little bit about my grades because I really need to put the work in next year at college. But as the old saying goes, Time will tell.

I know that being a doctor is tough. The long hours and stress of the job aren’t what influenced the decision I have made to try. It’s the rewards. The lives’ saved under a doctor’s hand. Also, knowing that wherever you are, in any place, the role is the same. A doctor has that ability. That’s why I want to be one.

Well, I think that’s all I’ve got to say for now. So I want to leave you with this. Keep dreaming. Keep believing. And it doesn’t matter what situation you’re in, you can accomplish anything!

Peace out accidental adventurers x