By Megan Pinna
After a grueling seven-hour bus ride, I finally arrived in the city I had dreamt of visiting my whole life: Paris. I made the journey with my best friend, and although we were both exhausted, we knew we couldn’t rest- we had exploring to do.
Our first order of business was taking a train to Disneyland Paris (I am a big Disney fan in all countries). We spent most of the day walking through the park and going on rides. I tried my first croque-monsieur (essentially a French ham and cheese sandwich) and I got to see how beautiful the city is at night.
We returned to our hotel that night exhausted with my phone battery at less than 20 percent. I plugged my phone in to charge, but noticed that it was not working. Frantically, I tried using every adapter and charger I had with me in a desperate attempt to get it to charge. Nothing worked.
The idea of having a phone that wouldn’t charge terrified me for many reasons. My phone could be broken, and I don’t know Paris well enough yet to know where I can get it fixed. If I don’t text my mom from time to time to tell her I’m okay, she may think I’m dead.
But what worried me the most was that I would not be able to take pictures, let alone post on social media for the whole weekend. I know how that makes me sound, but I will be the first to admit I am addicted to social media. I am so used to constantly sharing my experiences with others that the idea of being cut off from my electronic world just felt weird.
When I finished moping over my broken phone, I put it on airplane mode and attempted to forget about it so I could enjoy the rest of my weekend in Paris. The first thing we did the next day was climb to the very top of the Eiffel Tower. Instead of constantly taking pictures of the view, I just stood there and admired the beauty of the city. I didn’t need affirmation from social media to tell me that the view was breathtaking.
For the rest of my time in Paris, we went to museums, saw the bell tower at the top of Notre Dame and ate excessive amounts of crepes and macaroons. Although at times I wished I could have my phone to document these moments, I realized that maybe my broken phone was a blessing in disguise. I actually saw and appreciated Paris with my own eyes, not through the lens of my camera. I measured my fun in laughter and adventures, not in likes or retweets.
On the night before it was time to head back, I plugged my phone in to charge out of force of habit. Strangely enough, it actually started charging. I honestly have no idea why my phone decided to magically charge again, but I am a person who believes thi ngs happen for a reason. I think this trip was way for me to put my social media addiction in check. It was a way for me to recognize that I don’t constantly need to share my experiences to have fun. The world may not know how fun my trip to Paris was, but I know, and that’s enough.
Paris was like my own little retreat and in the end, I am very grateful that my phone broke.
As my phone came to life again and began charging, I logged on to my social media accounts and posted all the pictures my friend took on her phone. Old habits die hard.