On March 12th, we were scheduled to fly to Paris for spring break. We were excited. We had been counting down the days for weeks. But really, we had been planning this trip for over a year. Our flight was mid-day, so we decided to check-in online before driving to the Denver airport. A warning popped up: our passports were due to expire within 3 months of our return. We made a lot of phone calls, but to no avail. A newish rule states that expiration within 3 months now prevents you from flying to many countries in Europe. Our vacation was off. We unpacked our bags from a trip we didn't take. It was a sad, sad day.
We lost the money from our AirBnb, but we recovered our frequent flyer miles, which meant we were able to reschedule. After riding on anticipation for a little longer, we made it to Paris almost exactly 2 months after our original trip was scheduled. And it was bliss.
In college I spent a winter term traveling throughout Italy. At the beginning of that trip we flew into Paris, spent one day (I went to the Louvre) and then took a train to Italy. That was 15 years ago. I hadn't been back since.
This time we didn't have a plan, really. Some ideas, but no itinerary. We met up with friends who are finishing a year-long sabbatical from university jobs. We bought a baguette each morning, and slathered it with jam. We took long, long, long walks in every direction. We swam in one of the city pools and accidentally broke all of the rules. We climbed 300 steps to see the views form the highest point. We talked about how the appreciation for art and culture is so wildly different from America. We tracked the street artist Invader.
Renew your passports, people! And get to Paris no matter what obstacle you encounter.