My decision to study abroad at the London College of Fashion was based on many factors – the industry experience I would gain, the cultural knowledge I would leave with, and the trip to Paris I would take. I had been dreaming of traveling to my namesake city for as long as I can remember (although it wasn’t actually the city of lights I was named after, but another woman).
Needless to say, I was thriving during my time in Paris. I even started the hashtag #ParisInParis for my social media accounts so that friends and family could follow along. A pivotal moment for me during this trip was the day we ventured to Porte de Clignancourt on the outskirts of Paris to visit the Saint-Ouen Flea Markets. I had decided that the only way I was going to truly experience the markets in the way I wanted was to do it alone. At first, my friends were skeptical of the idea of me exploring on my own because of the area we were in, but I assured them that I felt comfortable in my surroundings.
And I did. That day I felt at peace: with myself, and with the city. I was able to go into the shops that interested me and spend as little or as less time that I wanted without feeling rushed or pushed around. I took time examining the high fashion vintage pieces as if I was one of the designers going there for inspiration. For me, it wasn’t about needing to buy that vintage Chanel handbag or an entirely new wardrobe to say “I bought it in Paris!” but to immerse myself in the Parisian culture.
I am proud that during my time overseas I conquered both London and Paris, two cities that I had only dreamt about living in before. I will always consider London to be my home from now on, but Paris has become my escape.