8 Things I Have Loved About Paris

 We have lived in Paris for a whole 6 months and although that does not make me an expert, there are things that I have recognized about my new home that I really appreciate. My best advice when I first moved here from America was to not compare your home country to your host country. That has helped me manage expectations and also not to dwell on what is different here. The culture shock is real. I definitely had it when we moved to China, but even in Europe there is a cultural learning curve that you need to navigate and learn from. As I have adapted and recently reflected on the things that I have seen so far I think it would be fun to share. Some may be obvious and some may surprise you (like they did me!) but enjoy reading my top things I have loved about Paris. 


1. The walking- I KNOW! I am as shocked as you are! I will admit when we first moved it was a lifestyle change and definitely different but I have come to love how much we walk. First, I love how walking provides a way for you to fully immerse yourself in your surroundings. I feel like when I walk versus when I drive I notice so much more about buildings, people, the culture and the small details of the city. 

Walking has also provided me with a better sense of the layout of the city, because I don't rely on a quick drive. I also get to meander and step into stores to browse that I never would have been in if I had been driving somewhere specific. This also comes with an appreciation of moving my body. I love that I get my steps in and that it keeps me active. I feel more productive and I love that Parisians really lean into that in their lifestyle. 

2. The quality of the food, especially produce. I know this may be obvious to some. The fruit is so fresh filled with less preservatives than the United States and the produce has a much more pure taste to it. I notice that when I cook I don't have to add that much sauce or flavoring because the food here just tastes better. I know that's not true for everyone, but I feel like in Paris (or probably Europe) they use less ingredients in their cooking. In America we use a lot of sauce, flavoring, spices, sugar, etc. Here, I just don't add that much. This also could be totally a personal opinion (as most of these are), because I do hear from Americans that they feel like the food here is bland. But, I have come to appreciate just using less ingredients, plus it makes cooking easier. I also believe that food is healthier here than in the U.S. The serving sizes alone are a reflection of that. 

I did my research and found out that "America allows these additives in their foods, which are banned in Europe. - rBGH, ractopamine, potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil, olestra, azodicarbonamide, coloring agents (also known as Red #40, etc.), and BHA and BHT. In America, growth hormones and chemical preservatives are used to produce larger foods and to make sure that the shelf life of food products is longer. However, EUFIC and EFSA (the European Food Safety Authority) prohibit hormones and advise against preservatives."- Learn more here And you definitely notice it! The chicken breasts aren't abnormally huge like at Walmart. The strawberries aren't massive. The shrimp isn't as big as a small dog. Although you originally think that bigger is better, the preservatives and hormones in America affect the taste and I noticed a big improvement in my digestion here when we moved. 

3. The public transportation- When we first moved I almost cried when we sold my minivan because the thought of not being able to drive anywhere (unless we rent a car) was really hard to imagine. We didn't have a car in Shanghai, and it posed different difficulties because we had a stroller and the metros are definitely not handicap friendly. (no elevators). However, SOME have escalators and you get really used to asking someone to help you carry the stroller up the stairs. Hallelujah that my kids can walk! The more I understood the metro lines and the transits of the city I think it is so efficient. I really wish that America had a better public transportation system. I have also taken the bus, which I don't like as much, but I like that it is still an option. We rarely take Ubers/taxi's, but it is helpful when getting to and from an airport. 

4. The baguettes, croissants and crepes. Non explanatory. 

5. Everyone speaking French I don't understand- Just kidding, making sure you're still with me!

6. The travel- although if you know us, this should actually be #1. You are a 2 hour and 15 minute train ride to London, a 1.5 hour plane ride to Venice, a 6 hour car ride to Switzerland, a 3.5 hour car ride to Belgium and a 4.5 hour plane ride from Paris to Egypt. We absolutely love that we are so close to all of these places! Everything is so accessible and nearby, which makes a quick weekend trip very doable or an extended road trip a breeze. We lucked out with our apartment, and there is an Enterprise rental car company in the garage directly below our house. How's that for serendipity? 

7. The city of Paris seems huge but is very accessible by walking and when you practice your navigational skills for long enough you see how small it really is, You can hop on the metro and 10 stops later be at the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Seine. 

8. The Parisians value quality over quantity. Their homes and apartments are not as large as America so they tend to only buy what they need and things they really consider a necessity. If they buy something they tend to learn more into quality focusing on it lasting longer than just having massive amounts of cheap clothing from Walmart or Target. At first it was a concern that I was having to pay a bit more for clothing, but I love that they value the quality. Which leads me to also appreciating the fact that they are semi minimalists and you don't need lots of clothing to lead a stylish lifestyle.

These are a few of my favorite things about living in Paris, and I am sure that I will have more to add after 3 years living here. Don't worry, I also plan on writing a blog post about the things that I tend to dislike or have a hard time with. I know you guys find the dirty and raw opinions fascinating. I will get there! 


  1. I love the walking and the food and the clothes - and the croissants!! I lived there many years ago for 6 months - but was really too young to appreciate anything - my 3 week visits with Hannah have to suffice!! I would mostly miss having a yard I think.

  2. Oh man, those fruits and veggies look amazing. The color!