I wasn't sure how I would feel about 12 days of alone time an ocean away from home -- would I be lonely? Truthfully, I had this great feeling of solitude -- and I wanted to protect that. I was happy to talk to strangers when the opportunity arose, and there were moments of connection that were surprising and precious to me, like going for a walk with a Parisian man, who led me up the stairs at Shakespeare & Company, where we sat on one of the narrow beds to listen to a young woman play the piano. "To me, this is Paris," he said simply, when she lifted her hands from the keys. But being in two cities where I knew no one at all gave me a tremendous amount of freedom, and I did turn down several invitations that would have eaten away at that solitude when I wanted to soak it in.