Paris is always a good idea.” Having been to Paris before, I never doubted this line that Audrey Hepburn delivers in the movie, Sabrina. However, I didn’t fully appreciate it until through a twist of events I found myself buying a Eurostar ticket from London to Paris this past July. I had tacked on a business trip to London to a family vacation in Greece and Turkey after my boss returned from her holiday in Paris and told me that I just had to go see these art exhibits in Paris. I could work from the London office for a few days and then go to Paris for the weekend.
That’s hard to turn down. So I reconfigured my travels plans and bought a ticket to Paris with no plans for what to do when I would get there besides see a couple art exhibits. I was a bit nervous about not knowing anyone in Paris and searched through my Facebook friends to see if someone I knew had by chance moved to Paris and set my status to “looking for anyone who knows anyone in Paris.”
Then it occurred to me that there was a larger network I could tap into: Cap and Gown alumnae. I asked Michelle Galloway if there were any Cap and Gown members in Paris and she connected me with Deborah Rubenstein, Class of 1989. I was delighted and a bit surprised when Deborah responded to my out-of-the-blue request to meet in Paris. We arranged to meet near the Boston Consulting Group office where Deborah manages EMEA marketing.
Working in marketing myself, we had plenty to talk about, building on the instant connection that Stanford provides. As we sipped kir from a sidewalk café, we chatted easily about life at Stanford, building a career in marketing, living abroad and traveling. It was lovely to discover similar experiences even though our times on the Farm were separated by about two decades and we were sitting on the other side of the world.
You’re never quite sure what will happen in Paris, but there is always something surprisingly charming. I thoroughly enjoyed walking through eight museums, immersing myself in a novel based on the life of Degas and savoring crème brule, but the highlight was connecting with a fellow member of Cap and Gown and experiencing what a good idea Cap and Gown is.