What I learned from the Parisians

One of my favorite things about traveling are all of the lessons you get to take back home with you. I always leave countries inspired by different things – but Paris really got to me.  I don’t know if I was more in need of a refocus, of if the lifestyle there just really spoke to me, but Joel and I came home with a list of things we needed to change in our current day-to-day life.

Paris balcony.

Dress up Aside from actually working out, the Parisian men and women dress up and look good. They’re not necessarily fancy, but they’ve thrown together an effortless and comfortable outfit. I always feel better about myself when I like the outfit I’m in – and you never know who you are going to bump into. 

Slow DownI am constantly rushing. Rushing to get out of work, rushing to walk the dog around the block, to rush to make dinner, to rush to eat it, to rush for the TV show I want to watch, to rush to the bathroom during the commercial, to rush my bath so that I can rush to bed and rush to wake up to do it all over again the next day.

How stupid?

What the hell am I rushing for? The faster I move, the faster time slips through my fingers – and I don’t want to live that way. I need to move slower, talk slower, do slower, and just be slower in order to enjoy so, so much more.


Eat Bread Me, like most American woman, have basically created bread to be the god damned devil. Well, we’ve got something wrong here because every person in the streets of France walks with a foot long baguette every hour of the day.

It’s not bread that’s bad. It’s sitting, and eating yogurt covered almonds that were preserved fifty times over.

Stay up later – I felt like I had so many more hours of my day when we were in Paris. Granted, the sun stayed out until almost ten oclock, but we also just enjoyed more of the day. I didn’t worry about not getting the ideal 8.23 hours of sleep, I just enjoyed having fun. There’s a lot of life to be lived after 9pm.

Turn off the TV – You know who isn’t going to rub your back and bring you soup when you feel like shit? The Real Housewives of anywhere. So why am I investing all of my time into these people who don’t know or care about me at all? My friends, community, dog, husband, parents, neighbors, and strangers deserve a lot more of my time than my TV does. We didn’t turn the TV on once while we were abroad and I didn’t miss it at all.

Play cards – I really love the romance of playing cards and I have so much fun doing it. We brought our pack of cards everywhere we went and it was such a nice way to pass the time and have fun doing it.            


Touch – The Parisians were always touching. Friends were holding hands on the street and couples were basically joined at the hip at all times of the day. And, yes, at times it might be a little much, but I don’t think couples and friends are touching enough. Touch is the way to express how much you love someone – and kids show their love through touch all the time – so I’m not sure when we stopped, and I don’t want to be a cold, touchless person.

No phones allowed- I never saw a phone on a dinner table once. No one was texting underneath the table while trying to pretend they were listening to their friends, no one was updating Instagram every 13 minutes, and no one was staging their coffee cups for the perfect shot.

smile when it's raining

Rain doesn’t matterIn LA, the place that has sun 348 days a year, you should hear the complaints if we get rain for an hour. It’s actually embarrassing. In Paris, if it rained, life continued on as usual with just the quick pop of an umbrella. No need to change your plans, or your outfit, it was just part of the beautiful backdrop and was enjoyed for its beauty.

Always have a scarfScarves are on “your person” at all times. Whether they’re thrown across your shoulder or stuffed in your bag, scarves are like the most important tool in the entire world, and save the day with almost any emergency.

Walk everywhere – We walked miles and miles every day. Sometimes as much as 15 in a day. And it was fun. I felt light and efficient, and really enjoyed being outside and being able to go from one place to another without ever even thinking about getting in a cab. Here in LA, I have a grocery store 2 blocks away, and every other kind of store I would need within a mile. And I never walk – anywhere. It’s one of the many things that is changing, but it was eye opening how LAZY we are being!

Really Greet your friends – I love the intimate embrace you receive from your friends in Paris. The double kiss on the check is so sincere and kind, and I feel like it really warms up your interaction with another person. I really want to practice giving real hugs to friends and family.

Picnics + sunhats.

Go to the park – Seriously, parks are so much fun. Why haven’t I been spending time in more parks? Where are the parks in LA? I loved going to the park in Paris, just to sit, and watch, and be outside, and walk around. It’s simple but it’s lovely, and we should be going to more parks.

Linger – And my favorite of all of the lessons I learned was to just linger. Just enjoy sitting. Whether I find myself alone, or with Joel, or with friends – I just want to slow down and linger. Listen and take it all in, and not feel this intense desire to have the funniest story, or spread rumored gossip, I just want to linger, and be. 


  1. Such good lessons, all of them! I totally agree about just slowing down and lingering. We eat dinner REALLY late, for example, because we linger over the whole process after we get home from work. Pour a glass of wine (or have a cocktail if it's Friday/Saturday), chat while preparing, relax while things are cooking, and then sit down to eat. We ate at 9:20 last night but it was delicious and we just took our time. It feels SO nice not to rush!

  2. These are all such good lessons!! I agree with so many of these, especially the no tv, walking, and putting the phone down. I just started reading French women don't get fat and she constantly talks about how rushed the American lifestyle is.

  3. This post is all so true and I love what you pointed out. It's so true how much Parisians really enjoy life and live in the moment!! I particularly love how they linger at long lunches of rose or white wine!! I'd like to do more of that :) The walking is such a fun part and the brasseries on every corner make pain au chocolate so tempting :)

  4. I absolutely love this list and could not agree more. I visited Italy a few years ago and their way of life is so much less complicated then ours- simply because we make it that way. Europeans have a true passion for life and love and I love their recognition of the small things in life! Have a wonderful weekend love!

  5. I was really hoping one of these tips was going to be DRINK MORE WINE. Dang.

  6. Also I was really hoping for a back rub from Lisa Vanderpump one day.

  7. Such great lessons! The biggest one I'm trying to overcome is not being on the phone while out with friends and what not - trying to live more in the moment ya know?

  8. I loved your Paris trip posts! We do a big yearly trip and we almost decided on Paris so this would have been super useful but we are going to Istanbul now!
    I think it's so important for couples to get away and experience cities together - that is what life is about, building memories with the one you love!