Novancia Business School, Paris, France
Public transportation has always stressed me out a little bit. Prior to living in Paris, I had only used the metro in Chicago a few times and the bus system in Kalamazoo, once or twice. Using the metro or bus system in Paris is an absolute must in order to get anywhere! For my first few days, I just walked everywhere in the city. One day, my phone said that I walked over 45,000 steps and 22 miles in 6-7 hours! I knew that eventually I had to learn the metro system because it would take me about an hour and a half to walk to my school from where I am living.
Honestly, my first metro experience was pretty difficult. I have a Paris metro map on my phone, but I wasn’t quite sure how to use it. It took a few times for me to understand the rail changes and the direction I was supposed to take. Now, I normally try to map out my route on the app before going somewhere, but I am also able to figure out where I am going without planning it out ahead of time.
I still try to walk around the city, but using the metro is definitely useful for long journeys or when I want to get to a location quickly. At the beginning of February, I bought a metro pass that allows me unlimited trips for a month and that I am able to renew on a monthly basis. It saves me a ton of money and makes travel much easier.
I miss being able to drive places and the metro is not my favorite method of travel, but I am getting more used to it and I feel more comfortable using it. I don’t know if I will ever come to enjoy it, but it is definitely an experience for these four months. I have used the bus system once, but I hope to figure it out better and start using it more. There is also a bike rental system, called Velib, which has over 20,000 bikes and 1,800 stations throughout the city. It allows people to rent bikes from any location in Paris and return them to any location. I am looking forward to trying the bikes soon! Living in Paris is a different style of life than I am used to, but I am enjoying my experience while learning more about the city.