This Article was written by Zanelle Awinyo
Have you ever gone somewhere and expected it to be the Land of Dreams?
Perhaps your friends told you how amazing their experience was, or all the instagram posts about that place were simply stunning; but once you got there, you realised it didn’t quite match up to its 'hype.' If so- that may have been your first taste of Paris Syndrome.
When you think about Paris, what first comes to mind? Is it the city of romance? The place with Mona Lisa? Or are you simple-minded like me, and think of the Ratatouille movie and baguettes.
Either way our expectation of the city is generally high; almost movie-like. When we envision Paris we may think of the utopia we see in movies; some may imagine themselves on intense shopping sprees or maybe in cheesy rom coms singing and driving under the starlit sky, perhaps even meeting your favourite celebrity. We may know all of those things have a low chance of happening, but some people don’t... which becomes a problem.
The problem, now referred to as 'Paris Syndrome,' mainly affected Japanese tourists.
They would be so overwhelmed by the difference between their expectations of Paris, which is generally heavily romanized- and the reality; a European city with rush hours and queues every so often.
Once people got Paris Syndrome caused by this disappointment, they’d develop symptoms that would be anything from delusions, hallucinations or even experiencing an accelerated heartbeat at times. The after effects of Paris Syndrome vary and they’re worse depending on how high your expectations were. While some have been reported traumatized by the experience and developed a fear of traveling again; others just had a boring holiday in Paris.