The Catch Me if You Can creator tells us how to plan for that first trip.
You always remember your first time. Mine was November 2007. I can't remember the exact day, but I remember how I felt—so nervous. I had bought the necessary supplies and I was well prepared and all I could do was wait for the day to come. When it finally came, I packed my bags, headed to the airport and boarded the plane. For the first time, I would be traveling to a new country by myself.
I knew no one on the flight from London to Paris. I was slightly uncomfortable, wondering if people were looking at me oddly since I was traveling alone, but they weren't. No one was paying me any attention. When I landed in Paris, I was nervous. I was meant to meet a friend, but I couldn't find him. I hopped on a kiosk that allowed you to connect to the internet. He had not emailed me. We hadn't made proper plans and I didn't know what to do. I waited for an hour, checking my email incessantly. No new messages. I decided to book a hotel and send him the confirmation to meet me there. I knew nothing about Paris, really. I just booked a four star hotel near Champs-Élysées. It seemed safe. I asked for information on how to get to the hotel from Paris' Orly airport. I was told to take the train.
When I arrived in the city center, it seemed no one spoke English. I used my French to ask for directions, but the Parisians seemed exhausted by me. While my sentences were perfect, I am sure my accent was horrendous. After a long struggle trying to navigate the subway, I gave up and went above ground. I was in tears. I was frustrated and had no clue where I was going. I found a taxi driver and told him where I wanted to go. He gladly drove me the 15 minutes to the hotel. I later found out that where I'd picked up the taxi was a five minute walk from the hotel. Bastard. I checked into my room, expecting a big comfy bed that would swallow me whole and make me forget the whole ordeal. Instead, I walked into a cramped space with two hard twin beds. Welcome to France.