Is Paris Syndrome a Real Thing?
The Paris Syndrome: "a collection of physical and psychological symptoms experienced by first-time visitors realizing that Paris isn't, in fact, what they thought it would be."
Like many others before me, I dreamed of Paris to be this surreal, dreamlike city: beautiful people madly in love strolling about the town, culture, art and fashion bursting from every street, bustling cafes with croissants and crepes and macaroons waiting to be eaten, beautiful men speaking French while the wind blows through their hair, mimes on every corner, Chanel no. 5 always wafting through the air....
Obviously, I watched too many movies and television shows that romanticized the city to the extreme. My long weekend there was a bit of a let down. It could have to do with the fact that it was nonstop raining the entire weekend, freezing cold, and it was one of my very first international trips, so perhaps I still idealized travel too much. To me, it was a normal metropolitan city dotted with some interesting monuments and historical artifacts, but normal nonetheless. I felt that it lacked a strong charm/character that usually makes me fall in love with a city. I didn't have any real connection with Paris, no local that I got to know over a meal at dinner, no amazing cultural experience that left me in awe, no "aha" moment where I truly fell in love with it.
With that being said, I'd still recommend Paris to every first time European traveler - it's one of those "bucket list" cities that you just have to see in your lifetime. Who knows, maybe it'll become your favorite city in the world. Here's some moments that I did enjoy, despite the overall gloomy vibes of the weekend: