My Heartbroken Fairy Tale: How Traveling to Paris Transformed My Reality

I was holding hands towards my happily-ever-after and life revealed some throbbing findings. Until further notice, there would be no wedding cake, only heartbreak. After parting from my “soulmate” of 10 years, everything in my world felt brand new. Young love comes with its fair share of growing pains, still, accountability is golden. So, I left him with everything — except me.

At 27, I managed to pull myself together just enough to settle in a new place, and I promised myself a change. As Paris was always a romanticized dream of mine, I set out for the city of love...alone.

1. B Alysse in Paris 1

My plane landed after dark and with minutes to spare, I ran to a bank teller who slid me colorful Euros. Arms flailing, I anxiously hailed a cab. My first spectacle occurred at the top of the hour and was moments away. We pulled up and it was massive, even larger than my picture-perfect imaginings. A sign that read "Tour Eiffel" soon began gleaming from the towers’ glittery light show, and that's when I was like — there's a Puerto Rock in Paris. My core was filled as ever with the realization of my solo accomplishment.

2. B Alysse in Paris 2

Everything was far more beautiful in Paris, including the food. I indulged in the most delectable pastries and sailed on the Seine River past the Eiffel Tower, enjoying champagne and crêpes. The locals weren’t nearly as urgent as my American friends back home and took the time to enjoy Parisian menus.

3. B Alysse in Paris 3

Waking up on Avenue Montaigne makes the most unmovable women blush. It was as if the universe divinely arranged my retail therapy. French women devour macaroons and somehow remain lean. I walked through every boutique with thighs sized by rice and beans. 

4. B Alysse in Paris 4

The City of Light gave me the greatest sense of enlightenment I’d ever experienced. The Louvre Museum blew me away, Shakespeare and Company’s book selection was a writer’s ultimate fantasy come to life, and nightlife was inhibition-free and introduced me to a chivalrous Parisian wooer with eyes as blue as island water. The typical drink offer was replaced by a first-class dinner for two.

5. B Alysse in Paris 5

I rented the coziest flat around — with phenomenal amenities. At nearly every turn, the architecture surpassed anything I’d seen before. Paris transformed my reality: in the middle of a seemingly unbreakable spell, life gifted me a fairytale.