She tried to see through full bangs on thick, chin-length hair that turned brown in the sunlight. Wearing a quilted trench coat fit for a 7-year-old, she walked with confidence as the velveteen pink fabric brushed against her knees. It was eight in the morning, but there she was, walking just a feet away from her mum and dad to the corner bakery for fresh baguettes and whole milk. She giggled at the sight of warm biscuits and fresh fruit jams, humble carts that served only the most delectable Nutella crepes, and men in stripes who looked like clowns. She always wondered why they never muttered a word. One time, she tugged on the clown's shirt only to find a wide-eyed, white-painted face looking at her with a huge smile.
Although she knew she wouldn't remember much after months of living in such a marvelous place, she knew exactly where she was. She knew that having her head stuck between iron rails while waiting for her turn at the Dumbo ride in Euro Disney wasn't going to be the end of it. Neither was the time when her dad placed her inside one of the giant plant pots leading to Versailles, nor the moment she stood under the Eiffel Tower with her mum.
In fact, it was just the beginning.
At that time, it wasn't clear where she was going, but she knew she was going somewhere.
That little girl was me.