Goodbye Paris

What would you do in the City of Light?

Choose an Adventure for the Book

In March, I’m going to Paris with my wife and one-year-old son. We’ll be there for several months.

I want to take you with me, and I’m going to write a book about it.

This is a choose-your-own-adventure story. You choose the adventure. I do what you say. For example, you suggest, “Strike up a conversation in broken French with three people today.” I say, “Oui.” You say, “Take a picture in each of the 20 arrondissements in one day.” I say, “Why of course.”

Once the adventure is complete, I will write about it here on this blog, and in September, inshallah, I will publish a book about the experience.


Not sure what adventure to suggest? Here are a few examples:

  • Channel Your Inner Baker. Work for a day in a French bakery.
  • Skinny dip the Seine.
  • You ARE Rick Steves. Go to every café in your neighborhood (Saint-Germain) and then write a guide.
  • Be a loud, ugly American. Go into a creperie and ask for a hot dog with extra ketchup and french fries.

For more ideas, check out Rick Steves‘ website. Click “Listen” for the free podcasts. I’d start with the last, “Walk Like a Parisian.” Also, there’s a great app. As you listen, ask yourself, “What would want to do in Paris?”


This is a chance for you to tell a story (my story our story). And all great stories contain the five elements of story. Before you suggest an adventure below (or several adventures), let these prompts guide you:

  • Character. Who will I meet? Who will be my sidekick? Who (or what) will be my antagonist? (By the way, am I even the main character?)
  • Setting. Where will I go? What will I pay close attention to?
  • Theme. What lessons will I learn? What ideas will I contemplate?
  • Plot. What is my goal? What’s wrong with me? What problems will I face? How will I overcome circumstances and my own flaws (or be defeated by them)?
  • Style. What will I wear? How will I present myself? What will my tone be?

Make sure to note which category your adventure falls into when you make your suggestion.

Who Are You?

My name is Joe. I’m 27. I’m a writer. I’ve been to 26 countries, including Ireland, Croatia, Uganda, Vietnam, and Pakistan. I’m the husband to Talia and the father to Marston (A.K.A. Mars Bars).

I’ve had a few international adventures before. I’ve made friends with glue-sniffing street kids in Kenya, one of whom stabbed another kid the day I left. In Israel, I hiked 18 miles through the desert to the Dead Sea. Spiders bit my leg while I slept in a jungle in Thailand, leaving three giant pus filled sores. I have skinny dipped in seven different bodies of water on four continents, including two feet of water during low-tide in the South Korea’s Yellow Sea. I’ve been to the Pyramids of Giza, the Western Wall, and Angkor Wat. I have ridden elephants, pet tigers, and eaten dog (it was very tender). I have at least one friend I could call if I needed a favor on every continent except Antarctica. But I’ve never been to Paris.

All previous adventures aside, truth or dare is my least favorite party game. I wouldn’t say I’m controlling but I don’t like being controlled. My idea of a great travel day is sitting in a café drinking coffee and writing. This is going to be hard for me. And (hopefully) entertaining  for you.

As for my credentials, I’m a ghostwriter and author who has written four books. I’ve been published by national magazines. If you’d like to see some of my writing, you can go here and here.

The rules:

This is a social experiment. Like all experiments, it has rules.

  1. I will choose 10 to 15 adventures from the suggestions to accomplish during the trip. Some will be chosen directly by me, some voted on and chosen by popular consent. Each adventure will represent a chapter in the book.
  2. Sometime afterward (depending on how long it takes to accomplish the adventure and write about it), I will post a story about how the adventure went on this blog.
  3. I won’t do anything illegal.
  4. I’m married. No romancing the locals.
  5. I get one day a week off from adventuring.

Anything else is game.

We arrive on March 1, at which time I will choose the first set of adventures from the suggestions below.

Suggest An Adventure

Ready to go to Paris? Support the project by donating. Then leave a comment here to suggest an adventure.