By Nicole Baffa
Summer after my third year in college I go on a plane for the third time ever, jetting across eight European countries in 42 days with a backpack and a belly full of street food.
I’m walking through Paris alone, having abandoned my friends in the museum lines, desperately looking on a map for that “love lock bridge” but constantly getting distracted by old buildings and bustling cafes, a scene that must be a Hollywood back lot.
It’s raining on and off. Of course, I’m American, so I’m in shorts and sandals. Parisians don’t wear shorts or sandals.
Torrential downpour starts and I’m running across a bridge to an overpass. Everyone is waiting out the rain. I see an old couple holding each other. She’s under his umbrella. There’s even a guy with a saxophone playing in the tunnel behind them. Definitely a fake movie set.
I’m laughing to myself at how ridiculous I look and feel (like a wet cat). I head back to the bridge I had skidded across. I’m entirely in love with the moment, giddy like a kid with a schoolgirl crush on life. Forget the love lock bridge.
Turns out I’m actually on the bridge I’ve been looking for. I find something that sums up exactly how it felt to be soaking wet, freezing cold, and starving for lunch:
Photos by Nicole Baffa