I'm pondering taking the RS Best of Paris tour right before Christmas. I'd like to make up my mind soon because this is the only 2018 tour left with any spots. But I have a problem ("problem" in the most ridiculous and privileged sense of the word) and was hoping the many accomplished travelers and/or RS alums might weigh in. When it comes right down to it, I think I'd like people to just encourage me to hit "sign up!"
For several reasons, the stars are aligning to take the RS tour right before the holidays. An airline snafu landed me with a voucher that will cover a RT ticket to Paris, and previous RS tours means I'll get a bit of a discount. This trip is really calling to me, despite a bad history with trips to Paris (this is not at all an anti-French thing; I spent nearly a week in Normandy and adored every minute). I've visited Paris twice--once as a pre-teen with my mother and, more recently, as a 35-year-old traveling solo. Certainly, a contributing factor was that other, unrelated but definitely "bad" personal stuff was going on in my life at the time (I had just lost my mother and my S.O. and I were in a bad spot), and I'm sure I associated that at least in part with Paris. Whatever the issue, I was miserable. I certainly could "appreciate" the museums (though I've still not made it to the Louvre) and the city's beauty, etc., but I couldn't "feel" anything. This attitude, not surprisingly, translated into all my activities,and stuff that I normally never bat an eye at (eating on my own in restaurants, attempting to make polite conversation in the local language, etc.) was a genuine ordeal. I basically spent the whole week alternating between meltdown mode and numbness, and if I hadn't paid for everything in advance, I would have bailed for sure.
But now there is something in the back of my mind whispering that this is my chance to "get it right." I love history, food, culture, architecture, and learning about a place by simply walking through it. I even know some French, so, on the face of things at least, Paris and I ought to be made for each other.
Where I'd especially appreciate input is about the RS tour. I have traveled widely on my own and do not "need" the "infrastructure" or whatever you want to call it of a guided tour, and ordinarily I'd shy away from the simple cost of a tour that is actually staying in one place. BUT, I've done four RS tours and know that they deliver on the cultural content. I also think this might be a time when I should really prioritize having other people to hang out with, at least sometimes. Given my experience with other RS tours, it is hard to believe I would have a truly bad time, even if Paris and I strike out yet again.
I realize this whole post makes me sound like a bit of a basket case, who needs her hand held. That isn't the case at all. But I am definitely a bit scared to return, and embarrassed by that. Should I just wash my hands of Paris and focus on another place, or go for it, and figure that, at the very least, I'll have some good wine and finally get to see the Louvre?
Apologies for the excessive length! And thank you in advance for any input.