Visual Journal Page 7: Wandering the Streets of Paris

I love Paris… Who doesn’t love Paris? I will never forget the historic buildings, streets filled with tourists, locals, artists, vendors, and performers. The smells wafting down alleyways and busy streets, fresh bread, fruit, and coffee. The melodic sound of French, twisting between groups, jumbling together, making no sense as it reached my ears, but loving it despite that. It blew my mind how Parisians could live in this city, walk amongst the history, every day. It almost seemed as if it got to a point where they stopped paying attention, as if they forgot they were walking past the Louvre or Eiffel Tower, and how powerful these icons are.

I am in incredibly lucky person to have had the opportunity to travel through France and Italy for ten days with my Mom. It is a trip I will never forget because of all the sites, history, and art I saw, as well as how meaningful it was that I was there with my Mom. Being one of three children I had plenty of opportunities to spend time with my parents, but the one-on-one moments were more rare. Therefore, this trip truly was special. Never in my life had I spent so much time with just Mom and me. Not only was I touring Europe with my Mom, but she is also an art teacher, and we spent ten full days enjoying the incredible works of art that are housed in cities we visited, like Rome, Florence, and Paris.

I will never forget that trip. Every now and then I catch myself zoning out, random thoughts of Venice, Chartres, and Siena. Wishing myself back to those moments, thinking maybe I will open my eyes and find myself in the middle of Europe once again, day dreaming about my next visit. When I began my school year, Fall 2010, Paris was a prospect for the upcoming Summer. The previous year the drama teacher at my school, Lindsay, decided she was determined to take a group of students to Europe. And the best part about taking students is the teacher’s way is paid, as long as enough students sign up. A free trip to Europe… I couldn’t believe it could happen… I knew I had to jump on her bandwagon and try to go.

We planned and planned. Lindsay did the majority of the work, setting up the trip through a travel agency, crunching numbers, and figuring out how many had to go for us to go for free. We advertised at school, and had an overwhelming response. I suddenly felt it could actually happen. I began planning out the things I wanted to do, see, shop, and tour. As the days continued, and my planning grew, we had our first presentation meeting, and began talking money with the parents and students. Suddenly, our numbers were cut in half. My spirits dropped, but I held on, this could still happen, the numbers were borderline, but still strong. We made phone calls, recruited, sent out reminder after reminder about the first, non-refundable deposit. Fundraising began, we pushed chocolate bars and candy, and inadvertently encouraged cavities to develop in all our students’ teeth. The first deposit deadline came and went… and my hopes fell. My dreams of Paris began to crumble away, I quickly realized I would not be attending the trip.

It’s amazing how many people can show interest and just as fast pull out. Once money was discussed and deadlines approached, many students realized they didn’t have the money, they didn’t want to fund raise, or it just was too much work for a trip. It was disappointing to admit defeat, but I was still determined to get Lindsay, and the small group who had committed, to go on the trip. I continued to push candy sales and helped her where I could. Lindsay’s initial excitement and seemingly endless enthusiasm began to wane as the year continued on. Parents cancelled, prices went up, students went back and forth on commitment, and Lindsay was on a constant roller coaster, no one knew if this trip would ever become a reality.

In the end she did make. She got to take her students on a trip, unfortunately it didn’t end up being free for her, but in the end she made it anyway. I was incredibly disappointed that I wasn’t there, but when the realization hit that both of us couldn’t go, I knew I had to bow out. The time and effort Lindsay put in already didn’t match up with the return, and there was no way I was going to attempt to split the little money that would pay a portion of her trip. Before she even left she was over it. However, Lindsay is one of the most caring, enduring, motivated people I have ever met. She rose above the constant battle with parents, students, the agency, and money, and she had an amazing time on the trip. She claims she wouldn’t change a thing, she she could do it over she would still plan it, but she will NEVER plan a trip with students again.

The prospect of Europe was enough to develop a slight pull in me. Every now and then I feel a small tug, an urge to act on the plans I created in my head. I will make it back, sooner than later, and I can’t wait until that day comes. After all, there is no place I would rather be lost than the streets of Paris.


  • Visual Journal
  • Rubber Cement
  • Scissors
  • Xacto Knife
  • Magazine image


Although this page may appear simple when you first look at it, it is far from it. I feel this page is under-appreciated because of it’s simplicity, but it took me a long time to put it together. The page is based off a magazine image I found, and map of Paris. I held onto, I felt it was appropriate since I was attempting to go to Paris, but I didn’t actually create the page until after I realized the trip wasn’t happening for me. Even though I wasn’t going to Paris I have plans to visit again, and what better way to remind myself of that than to make a page about it? I took the magazine image and carefully cut out every single building. I took away the streets, and glued the buildings on my page to recreate the map in my book. I carefully cut and glued, piece by piece, always making sure it was following the same pattern of the original image. I wanted my book page to transform into the streets of Paris, and although this process was time consuming, I couldn’t think of a better way to do it.


Reminisce about a trip you took or create a page for a trip you plan to take in your lifetime. Use photographs, magazine images, or draw your own. Reconstruct your trip or create an image to represent your ideal trip. Try to push yourself to incorporate the page you are using as a base. Have fun with it!


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