How to Travel Through Paris While Meeting Ex Boyfriends



Photo by Sven Ritter

Paulina and I went to Paris in our sophomore year of college. How our parents let us go, I will never understand. I don’t let my kids go out to our cul-de-sac by themselves. I can’t imagine ever allowing them to go to another country.

We did all the usual Paris-known things, like repeatedly walk on Champs-Elysées, under the Arc de Triomphe, went to the Louvre, fell in love with Jardin du Luxembourg, and even took a day trip to the Versailles Palace, where we preferred the Petit Trianon over the main Palace. (We are so low maintenance.)

We fell head over heels for Paris. We also surprisingly met a lot of people. The whole “don’t talk to strangers” or “follow them to shady nightclubs” went to our parents’ horror, out the window in Paris for us. There was a fascinating mom and son couple traveling from Los Angeles on their annual Paris vacation. We met them at the Buddha-Bar where thanks to Gypsy Kings we all ended up dancing on top of dining tables we were conservatively sitting at first. Buddha-Bar does that to everyone. Just ask anyone.

We also met two of my ex boyfriends. TWO! What are the odds, right? One by sheer chance while walking on Champs-Elysées; the other called ahead, but to this day, I don’t know how he found me. We didn’t walk around with cell phones and Facebook wasn’t around then. (I’m revealing my age.)

Paulina was more understanding than I was; even though she could tell I was mildly amused while wholeheartedly annoyed that my past had overtaken my European vacation. How both of my exes came to be in the same place I was, separated by days apart from each other, I will never know. Fate is funny that way. Just in case you are ever in the same situation, I give you HOW TO TRAVEL THROUGH PARIS WHILE MEETING EX BOYFRIENDS:

Donna photo 5

Photo by ex boyfriend.

  • When your ex calls and asks if you are staying at a big enough hotel where he can crash, don’t pretend to be concerned, just say no. I said yes, and for two days was bumping into him splayed on my floor before the bathroom. How he thought this rent-free was worth it, I will never understand.


  • If your ex, who is also a photographer, asks to take pictures of you while you look in awe at European history say yes. My ex took unbelievable pictures of me on a carousel and at Jardin du Luxembourg that I proudly display here. It also helped that he was a photographer.

Donna photo 4

Photo by ex boyfriend.

  • If your SECOND ex bumps into you on a street just make small talk and move on. (What? It could happen. It did to me.) I had the unexplained curiosity to suggest we meet again, and he had the balls to ditch his then new girlfriend to spend time with me wondering around L’église de la Madeleine. Totally insane but so worth to remember about after.


  • Of course, if I had acted on these whims while this absurd situation was happening to me, I never would have had the time of my life laughing about it all today. So, ignore the rules and do what feels right. At least you’ll have funny stories to bring home.

Donna photo 2

Photo by ex boyfriend.



Photo by a random stranger, not a photographer.

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