In the fall of 2009, I had just moved to Freiburg, Germany for a 6-month internship. Almost immediately after moving there, my college friend from Russia (she studied abroad at my southern Minnesota college one year) let me know that she’d be in Paris for a vacation. Despite my low-paid status as an intern, I bought a train ticket to Paris for a quick weekend trip to meet up with her.
I had one full day, two nights and two half days in the city, so basically a weekend. I remember arriving at my hostel and going to sleep very early that evening, perhaps even before it got dark out. I slept for 12 straight hours, I think! I was ready for strolling around, seeing some sites and enjoying some time with Russians in Paris. We met at Notre Dame, had some delicious food, and checked out an art exhibit at the Louvre.
I also had the idea, despite my meager financial situation (my savings was padding my lifestyle while I worked at the internship), that I’d want a nice piece of jewelry as a memento of my trip to Paris. I looked online and found a discount jewelry store in a nearby part of town, and made my way there to peruse their sparklies. I settled on a pair of earrings with tiny blue sapphires and cubic zirconia.
I don’t think I’ve worn them much in the past 6 years, but recently re-discovered them in a jewelry box and have been wearing them the past few days. While they’re quite minimalist and not anything you’d notice unless you’re looking for them, when I notice their sparkle in the mirror I feel a wave of nostalgia in the best possible way. I think of traveling independently, meeting up with friends in exotic places, the fall weather in Paris, and the allure of European travel by train.