Off to Paris for a Summer of Writing School
I decided to kick off my year of travel with some intensive studying to get my journaling on course. So I signed up for a month-long writing immersion in July at the Paris American Academy smack in the center of the Latin Quarter, one of Paris’ most lively and eclectic neighborhoods. I quit my job, booked a flight through Dublin (with a quick stop built in, of course) and headed to France.
I lived in Paris in my own flat, five flights up a rickety wooden stairwell to a wide open space that overlooked The Pantheon to the left, Rue Mouffetard straight ahead, and an ancient synagogue out my breezy kitchen window. The ceilings were tall, and the flat was light and airy with 12 foot tall french doors that opened all the way across the living room, into the bedroom, and onto a narrow balcony with carved iron rails covered with vines and flowers. You could smell fresh baked bread from the balcony, and you could also see right into the flats in the buildings across from you (be careful!). It was a world away from Florida and a great way to start my year of travel.
My school was an ancient compound next to a grand cathedral that was unfortunately under construction when I was there, but I’m told it’s amazing underneath the temporary scaffolding. It was just a scenic 15 minute walk, or a 5 minute bike ride from the rentable bikes I grabbed each morning from the curb near my flat. It was so easy – just a swipe from my metro card, a hop onto an available bike and I was off. I usually walked home after class, typically heading off to the nearby Luxembourg Gardens, or one of dozens (or hundreds?) of cafes to do some writing with friends from class.
The writing program was headed up by Rolf Potts, the original Vagabonder who you could say sort of spearheaded the current term “Vagabonding” and wrote a famous book by the same name. He inspired me and millions of other people to travel, including Tim Ferris, who wrote the Four Hour Work Week, and was in my class (intermittently – – he was finishing his latest book, The Tools of Titans).
I’ll share more on the school and on Paris, but here’s a quick glimpse of where I lived my life those days in the summer in school in the Latin Quarter.