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Living Vicariously Through “Emily in Paris”

It’s been out for a few weeks, but I finally watched “Emily in Paris.” And let me tell you, despite the pushback, I desperately needed it in the midst of quarantine and social isolation. 

Being someone who loves and lives to travel, adhering to the safety guidelines outlined by scientists and public health officials has made international travel next to impossible (which is fine, of course; the sacrifice is absolutely worth it if it means sustaining and promoting the health and safety of vulnerable populations and the general public). Although it’s still a possibility, the thought of sitting on a plane for at least three hours while decked out in a mask and PPE and then having to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival certainly does not appear attractive or enjoyable in the slightest… nonetheless feasible, with classes still in session. 

So for the past several months, I’ve tried to relive my memories of international travel by reminiscing over souvenirs from my trip to Ecuador three summers ago, flipping through year-old photos of my spring break trip to Europe and thumbing through old lookbooks and photo albums from my summer trips to India for our annual family reunions. I realize that I’m unquestionably privileged in the regard that I’ve even left the United States at all, but I really can’t help but miss the sights and sounds and the hustle and bustle of places outside of Johnson County, Kansas.

Which is why “Emily in Paris” was, quite frankly, a godsend. Granted that it’s not entirely accurate or sensitive to Parisian life, culture or sensibilities, it’s still a show that’s so genuinely fun to watch for drama, romance and the wonderfully charming and absolutely gorgeous views of Paris (and the undeniably dreamy Lucas Bravo, if I’m being completely honest). While the show definitely overflates French and American stereotypes, it serves as an enticing, albeit temporary, getaway filled with delicate patisserie, quaint cobblestone streets, river cruises on the Seine and high fashion runways. 

The likelihood of Emily Cooper (played by the lovely Lily Collins) becoming an Instagram influencer in the real world with pretty basic selfies on scenic terraces is unimaginable. But even if it is impossible, it’s so much fun to live vicariously through her experiences as she attends exclusive galas and fundraisers, falls in love with her gorgeous downstairs neighbor and bikes through the French countryside while sipping a glass of champagne. There’s something so elegant and romantic about it all, that it makes me miss traveling and especially miss my trip to Paris (despite that fact that my painful lack of self-awareness or sensitivity to French culture made the experience pretty miserable). Of course, as I said before, traveling isn’t really an option right now.

But living vicariously is probably the next best thing, right?

Niki is a third-year student at UMKC pursuing double majors in history and English along with a minor in film studies. Outside of writing and re-watching her favorite Tom Cruise movies, you can find her listening to audiobooks while on strolls through the park or walks around her neighborhood. She enjoys talking about travel, literature, health, wellness, and skincare and can never turn down a good cup of tea.
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