Just this past weekend I had an encounter that made me really remember what to do when you receive recommendations from someone – know your source! And, ask questions!
I ran into a friend at a wine store this past Friday. It was terrific to see him. In fact, it was genuinely good to catch up. We have known each other a long time and he and his wife are extremely worldly.
While I’m asking about his wife and children, he leans over toward the wine racks and grabs a bottle of wine. He holds it up and shoves it over toward me. Next he volunteers that it is a great bottle of white wine. But, better yet, he tells me what a great deal it is for the price. He pronounced the name with a French accent, making it sound really great. I was convinced that I had to try it!
Never mind that I really don’t even like white wine. I listened to a friend, took the advice, bought the wine, got home and opened it up. After one taste, surprise, surprise, it is not to my liking.
Don’t ASSUME – Know the Source!
What was I thinking? I knew better! But, because I know the source and was friends with him, I assumed the wine would be good. I should have asked some questions, like, “Is it a dry white wine?” “Would you call it minerally?” “What about sweet?”
Without asking questions, and without knowing whether the answers appealed to me, I took the advice of a friend. Wine is a definite personal preference kind of purchase. Just like what to see in Paris is a personal preference. Unlike one bottle of inexpensive wine, making choices in Paris is much more consequential. You may not be back. And you will have wasted precious time in the most beautiful city on earth.
Friends, guidebooks, and online resources will have suggestions for what to do in Paris. Of course, some things in Paris are “must sees.” But beyond those, who cares what someone else likes if you aren’t interested in it?
Don’t assume that if your friend likes it, you will like it. And, rather than fall for the flashy, descriptive and well-advertised, take a step back and ask yourself, “What do I like?” “What is going to make me happy?” “What do I want to see and learn about?”
It Is Your Trip
You are the one spending the money and taking the time off work to see Paris. Figure out what makes you happy – historic buildings, shopping, monuments, museums of paintings, sculptures, gardens, walking the streets, or maybe it is watching movies in the hotel room.
Then, take a look at, or a listen to, recommendations and suggestions. Understand and know your source. Next, ask questions. Then, really listen to the answers. After that, determine if the suggestion fits in with what you like to do.
Everything is available in Paris. So, don’t fret about lack of choices. Just make sure it is what you want to do.
Want to know where PariswithScott is coming from? Take a look here and feel free to ask as many questions as you like.