Paris from Home: A Quarantined YamPage Travel Guide

    With the school year coming to a close and most summer trips canceled, we’re all having to hunker down for the long, boredom-filled summer ahead. But don’t fret. Here at YamPage, we have curated a plan for you to escape that boredom just for a little while. Follow our directions precisely and you will be out of New York and living your Parisian dreams in no time.

1. Packing Your Bags

Stop reading right now and grab the largest suitcases you own. We know you want to be hip, do that whole “packing light” shindig, but it’s simply unachievable for anybody in their right mind. You need to bring that huge umbrella (because umbrellas are only a product of the U.S.), ten pairs of shoes (who knows, Mt. Everest is only around 6,000 miles away), and every single clothing item in your closet (as to not hurt any of their feelings). Also, those twenty guidebooks you already purchased on Amazon (or are buying right now as we speak) need their own, separate suitcase.

2. Learning the Language

    Or rather not learning the language as it’s simply not possible to learn a language in the few remaining days before your trip. Not even playing Duolingo for 48 straight hours will get you to the level of fluency needed for a trip of this caliber. Also, it would be best not to have Duo, the app’s infamous owl, harassing you for the rest of your vacation and life. The best solution is to just memorize the essential phrases and be done. We would suggest you learn the important questions of “Do you speak English?” and “Where’s the bathroom?” and since you’ve already spent years saying the words “Oui, oui,” “baguette,” and “croissant” to annoy anyone who mentions the words French or France, I’d say you’re as close as you can get to fluency for this trip.

3. Going Grocery Shopping

Now it’s time to start bringing France to you. Make a small detour to your local grocery store and buy the following items: a ton of bread (literally a ton, baguettes included), escargot (aka snails), the oldest (or smelliest) cheese in the store, croissants for breakfast, and some frogs’ legs for dinner. If your store is out of the more exquisite items, you might have to take a trip to a nearby pond to catch some snails and frogs for yourself.

4. Going Online Shopping

Once you’ve bought all of your food (or scavenged for it), get on Amazon and buy anything else you feel is necessary. Our suggestions would include blackout curtains (so that the American sun doesn’t interfere with your immersion), a kiddy pool for beach getaways (if your parents don’t already have one hidden away from your childhood), and some berets and striped clothing (you want your family members to look like French natives, right?).

5. French-ifying Your Home

Now it’s time to give your home the French feel. Turn off your air conditioning so that you can sweat as the French do, force your family members into the outfits you bought so that you can be surrounded by locals, put some bread in the oven so that it will always smell like you’re passing by a bakery, and leave that cheese you bought on the counter as some nice incense. You’ll also want to turn on some accordion music and find a nice track of French people just talking. You can’t say you’re visiting France until you hear the beautiful language around you without being able to understand a word of it.

6. Catching a Flight to Paris

Now it’s time to actually go on this trip that you’ve been planning for hours upon hours. Because teleportation does not exist yet, you will have to endure the almost 8-hour flight to Paris. And of course, it’s an overnight flight, so be prepared to get absolutely no sleep. Find the most uncomfortable chair in your house, get your family members to cram in next to you, find a track of just babies crying for an eternity, and hunker down for your realistic flight.

7. Settling In

Okay, you’ve finally arrived. We know. We can hardly believe it either. Grab your 100-tons worth of suitcases and roll them into your bedroom (if you share a room with a sibling, yell at them to get out. If you scream at them in a mixture of French and English, it will generally spook them enough). Change your clock so that it’s six hours in the future, and get some sleep because you should be dealing with some jet lag. 

8. Exploring the City

    You’ve only just arrived, so we suggest spending your first few days (or maybe just hours, it’s up to you) exploring the city. All you’ll need in order to do this is an old sock to wrap around your eyes as a blindfold and your imagination. Wander back and forth down a hallway in your house, enjoying the sights of the city. There’s no limit on where you can go, so don’t be afraid to see all of the sights (the Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, etc). Take advantage of one of the bonuses of this type of travel: there are no lines or crowds!

    If you’re feeling crazy, you could even climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower. All this requires is some serious imagining skills and either an elevator (for the more realistic experience), or a staircase, ladder, or even a fence (for a more literal experience). Definitely worth it, but a little more challenging.

9. Going on Day Trips

At this point, your trip has really left our hands. It is your choice what you do each day. If you want your trip to be realistic, you will need to figure stuff out on your own. But because we are nice people, we will provide you with a few suggestions of day trips you can go on.

Our first suggestion would be to go on a beach getaway. Get in your car and pretend to drive the two and a half hours to the nearest beach, making sure to honk your horn a few times in confusion. Set up your kiddy pool in the backyard and find a track of waves crashing on the shore to listen to as you sit in the pool. Use that sock again so all you see is the sand of the beach.

    Our other suggestion would be to take a trip to the Palace of Versailles. You should have already learned about it at some point in your history ventures at JD, so we will only explain it briefly. Or rather in two words: gardens and gold. Put on your blindfold once more and travel throughout your house, pretending you’re surrounded by the grandeur of the palace. Maybe even head outside to carefully wander through the pristine gardens.

10. Returning Back Home

    Once you feel like you’ve seen all Paris has to offer, it will be time to return home. We know it’s sad, but as long as you had fun, it was worth it (also the escape from your family was probably nice). Now, get back on that dreaded plane, and come back to Syracuse. Maybe you’ll even see your home in a new, better light. After all, DeWitt is “more than you think.” 

Josephine Dupuis
Josephine Dupuis was born in the late 1910s (she forgot which year) as Helen Smith. World-renowned for her work as a human statue in New York City, she decided to change her name in order to fully embody the heritage of her muse, The Statue of Liberty. After losing her job during the Great Depression, she tried a wide variety of occupations, ranging from potato farmer to bounty hunter, but none of them brought her the same passion as being a human statue. She’s hoping that her new job in journalism will spark a flame in her 100-and-something year old heart. She is dedicating all her articles to her two favorite great-great-grandchildren, Yammy and Paige. She is a long-lost cousin of Madie Phillips (’23).