Before traveling I had heard some nasty things about France. It was dirty. The French hate Americans. They will not speak English! And on and on.
Boy am I glad that I visited anyways, and had one of the best days of my life in Paris.
My keys to having a great time in France:
1.) Learn a little French
Hey maybe you will be able to flirt with a cute guy, or order a French pastry, both are important things, but paramount is you start every conversation with Bonjour, or hello. It’s polite and expected. On my flight to Paris, I read an ebook on my phone titled “The Everything Learning French Book”, which I highly recommend because it has audio for correct pronunciation. I learned a few things to help me navigate my time in France.
2. Golden Rule
People are people, if you’re kind, respectful and polite, they will return the favor! I had a cranky cab driver, but I gave her a big smile and tried to speak to her in French, she may have laughed at me and my poor French, but she lightened up, and drove past the Eiffel Tower on the way to my hotel.
3. Talk to strangers!
In a safe way of course! I learned so much from shop vendors, fellow dinner cruisers who ended up giving me some great Parisian tips, and some construction workers to who helped me unlock my bike rental for the day. They are people just like you, and if you are willing to listen, they might have something great to say.
4. Please please please, do not dress like an American.
Wear something nice, this is your chance to be in a beautiful country and wear beautiful clothing. I would not recommend wearing bright clothing, sports gear, or sneakers that scream American Dad.