Sometimes, just changing our surroundings can be a better mental refresh than a spa resort. For me, Paris, is a perfect destination to overflow my senses with flowers, light, and cobblestone paths, clearing out whatever clutter has built up over the day to day. From my experience visiting this "moveable feast," as Ernest Hemingway called it, here are some suggested activities that have less to do with outlined plans, and more to do with opening yourself to inspiration.
01. Walk (or bike) without a strict destination
Find yourself a neighborhood you're already interested in, then give yourself a generous half a day to wander. Perhaps there's a museum nearby you'd like to see. Take the scenic route there, without concern for being somewhere "on time," and see where the city takes you.
02. Take a boat ride on the Seine
There are many options for boat rides along the Seine River, from touristy to quiet. If your travel budget permits, consider a dining boat with Champagne and a river view.
03. Dine at an outdoor café with a book and a notepad
Many an artist and writer has found inspiration while sitting in a café in Paris. Give yourself three hours to sip some café au lait or tea with the quiet companions of pen and paper.
04. Light a candle at a holy site
The artsy neighborhood of Montmartre features Sacre Coeur, the holy site built as a sign of peace after wartime. The hip area of Saint-Germain features the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. Plus, numerous French saints' sites can be found all around Paris (Interested in Joan of Arc, anyone? Take a train ride to Reims.)
05. Stroll an outdoor market
Paris is known for its iconic outdoor markets. Whether you're interested in clothes, books, or art, find the outdoor market that interests you, and go early, so you have lots of time to kill. Be sure to have cash and lots of change in your fanny pack, so you can barter if needed. Finding a treasure that can fit in your luggage can be a joy, but even without buying anything, the Parisian experience will stay with you forever.