Getting to Paris

by Stephanie Gidley



Purchase on Amazon

274 pages, March 2018
Published by Penciled In
Designed by Benjamin Daniel Lawless

The story of taking the first step, and then all of the necessary steps afterwards, to actually travel to Paris.

Unlike most travel memoirs, where the authors have been relocated for their careers or have taken a sabbatical in order to travel, Getting to Paris is about traveling while working at a regular job and being a mother and wife in a typical middle class suburb. Most travel memoirs are also written by people who seem to have endless amounts of money and unlimited budgets. Being an elementary teacher however, makes the way this author went about saving money for this trip different, and ultimately more relatable for the average person.

This story is about how achieving one’s dreams takes more than dreaming; it takes planning, saving, and preparing in order to make them happen, and will encourage others not to let their regular lives stop them, but to realize that their goals are within their reach, even if those dreams are as far away as Paris.

Cover illustration by Madison King
Book and Cover Design by Ben Lawless


For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in Paris and all things French — French people, French cities, and French culture. Also, how they live, how they speak, what they eat, how they dress, how they raise their children, and more. For years I’ve read books, magazines, and articles online about all of these things. I knew I wanted to one day visit France, and Paris especially, but how does a regular, middle class, American suburban wife, mom and teacher get to Paris? Especially when her husband has no interest in going with her? How do you plan for it, save money for it, and actually make it happen?

Somewhere in my early-40’s I decided that if I was ever going to get to Paris then I had to make a goal. I am a firm believer in setting goals and then working slowly towards them with many small steps until they are accomplished. I decided that I was going to go to Paris before I turned 50. I began talking about it, often telling family and friends about this goal, hoping to cement it in place and take ownership of it. I knew I would have to learn the language, save money, and make a plan. I had several years to do it and I got started right away.