Expectation: You look cool hanging out at the Tuileries Gardens
Reality: You look like this
You will get a window seat on the plane.  It won’t be very busy, so you will wind up with a row of seats by yourself.  You will get a ton of sleep, but also still have time to take some great pictures out the window and finish your book
Reality: You get the middle seat between two people who refuse to share their arm rests.  The person in front of you reclines into your lap.  You can’t get a window picture without the person next to you's head/arm in it.  You fall asleep on their shoulder before awkwardly snapping back awake.  You stare at your book but can’t concentrate enough to actually read it.

Expectations: The walk from the train station to your hotel will be a breeze, even with your mountains of luggage. You will find it easily thanks to the map you so cleverly printed out or saved on your phone beforehand. The whole ordeal will take about 20 minutes, and you will be off exploring in no time.
Reality: You walk, and walk, and walk.  You look at every approaching street sign frantically because this one MUST be it.  You keep walking, looking at your  map and hoping for a sign you are on the right track but it might as well be in another language.  You ask for directions, using lots of hand gestures because you don't speak the language, and realize you are on the wrong street. You back track five blocks to your hotel.  You have now spent an hour lugging around suitcases and are too tired to even care about exploring.

Expectations: Your hotel's free breakfast will be absolutely wonderful.  You will fill up on it every day so you spend less on food.  You will get to sample authentic dishes from the culture.  The coffee will be flowing, delicious, and endless. After breakfast you will feel recharged and ready to take on the day.
Reality: Breakfast will consist of stale toast with your choice of white or very questionable looking wheat.  You will slather it in Nutella to make it bearable.  There will be nowhere to sit, so you will eat it standing on the street corner outside your hotel.  You will fight off another guest for the last cup of coffee, only to find that it needs 739472 sugars just to taste okay.  You will be hungry in an hour and spend 12 euros on a sandwich.

Expectations: You will look gorgeous in all your photos. Your skin will be immune to the stresses of traveling and will look flawless no matter how many hours your flight was. You will wear the fancy dress and shoes you brought and strut down the street. Your hair will be on point.  
Reality:  You will have jet lag and dark circles the size of craters.  You will oversleep and throw on the same clothes you wore yesterday.  Your skin will break out like nobody's business.  The difference in electricity will mean that your straighter doesn't work, and you will wind up looking like some kind of sleep depraved monster.  You will pose awkwardly in all your pictures and decide that no one can ever see them.

Expectations: You will see and do everything you have planned for the day.  You will go to five museums, three landmarks, one park, and somehow still have energy to go out at night.You will be having too much fun to get tired.  Who needs sleep? Who needs breaks? Not you
Reality:  You will do maybe three things that you planned.  You will get so tired around two oclock and nothing will look better than a whole pizza and a giant drink.  Your feet will feel like they are going to fall off and dancing will be out of the question.  You will pass out at like 10 because you need sleep and you need breaks.

Expectation: You will have a great time. You will make memories that last a lifetime, and you will learn so much and grow as a person
Reality: It is everything you expected and more.   


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