Netflix’s latest binge-worthy show is called Emily in Paris and everyone is obsessed with it, so naturally I had to give it a go. 👀
Just like Emily, I had the opportunity to spend a year in one of Europe’s most romantic cities, but for me it was Verona. I remember the anticipation, the planning, the wonders and, of course, the disappointments.
Life can be a fairy tale in the most unexpected places and a living hell in the most magical cities — it’s a matter of attitude above all.
While there’s plenty that the series didn’t mention or address properly (let’s not talk about the clichés altogether), the writers of Emily in Paris certainly got some things absolutely right.
Everything is Instagrammable
Living in one of Europe’s top cities — whether that’s Paris, Rome, Barcelona — makes your reality a little bit more magnificent. History and culture are embedded on the streets wherever you go. The sights are breathtaking at any time of the day.
People are “the worst”
While European cities are viewed as some of the best places to visit, they can be difficult to survive in terms of making friends with the local people. Maybe people are not the worst, but they take more time to break the ice. Often local people have already established their trusted circle of friends that fits their lifestyle and they are simply not interested in making more friends.
Buildings are old
Some of the prettiest cities in Europe proudly have their ‘old city’ areas where buildings are intentionally preserved as they were for a more authentic feel. At the risk of collapsing or creating unliveable conditions, they exist as you see them perceived in Emily in Paris and Eat, Pray, Love, to name another European exploration by a female. But trust me, nothing compares to the balcony view from one of those old buildings.
Fashion is contagious
Even if you don’t care much about fashion, you get in the mood to experiment with your outfits. It might have something to do with the good weather! The four main fashion capitals of the world are, in fact, Paris, London, Milan and New York — three out of four are located in Europe.
Coffee breaks are très chic
None of that Starbucks ‘grande’ — or worse, ‘venti’ — caramel nonsense. It’s about savouring the moment. Whether it’s single espresso or cappuccino, the idea is to take a break and re-connect with the world around you. The petite gorgeous café with outside seating is the norm, not the hipster alternative.
Love is in the air
There is kissing virtually everywhere, from greeting a friend to being a sensual lover on the street. When I lived in Verona, which is the official city of Romeo and Juliet, there were constant proposals under Juliet’s balcony. Locks of love were on every bridge & the sex appeal couldn’t be ignored.
Yet there was also love for the food, for the wine, for the experiences, for the exploration — there was love for life.
One friend can make all the difference
Living in Italy while extremely beautiful felt quite lonesome. Until I met another traveller in the eyes of an Italian girl who couldn’t fit in her own country. Emily found her traveling soulmate in Mandy — someone who was a little bit lost and needed a friend to share the adventure. Someone who made Paris a whole lot more bearable and unforgettable!
Yes, Emily might have come across as naïve, overly cheerful and infantile, but that’s the thing that traveling does to you: the hype takes over for as long as you let it.
Yes, Paris is not as two-dimensional as it looks like in Emily in Paris, but this is a romantic series aimed at alluring you to a more joyful place than the pandemic world we are all facing right now.
Yes, you should go and watch Emily in Paris! You’re in it for some pretty sights, glamorous outfits, unexpected language and cultural lessons, a brief intro to Instagram marketing & a reminder of the importance of the little things in life, wherever you are.