Your chance to get inside the brain of company founder Karen.
It’s not every day that Karen – or any of our guides – get asked random questions about themselves.
Random questions about Paris? Yes. Random questions about French history? Absolutely.
But just fun thinker questions? That’s much more rare. We wanted to give everyone a chance to get into Karen’s brain with a few fun questions.
If you have any other questions for Karen, feel free to post in the comments!
What is the most unusual thing you’ve had happen to you in Paris?
Hmmm… honestly, there have been so many totally bizarre things to happen to me in my life that this is not an easy question. I would probably say the most unusual thing to happen to me is the thing that affected the rest of my life: I came to France for a 2-month vacation, and just… NEVER LEFT. That’s pretty unusual!
On a lucky note, I’ve definitely seen my fair share of famous Americans in Paris (they like to sightsee, too, you know!). Once I got a high five from LL Cool J! Didn’t want to wash that hand afterwards…
What’s your favorite French dessert?
This question isn’t fair! There are WAY too many French desserts to choose from, how do you expect me to decide?!
I guess all I can say is that it seems to go in phases, so right now, today, maybe my favorite is Creme Brulee. It’s smooth and sweet (but not too sweet) with that caramel crunchy top that is oh-so satisfying to crack. It’s a whole sensory experience. If the top of your creme brulee doesn’t give a nice solid crack when you tap your spoon in… find a new place to eat dessert!
Picture this: it’s been a loooooong day – how do you fire yourself up to give a fabulous tour despite being worn out?
This one’s easy for me and it all comes back to the reason I started Sight Seeker’s Delight: it’s your dream to be here in Paris and seeing your eyes light up seeing Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower for the first time… it’s cathartic. I’m serious! All my troubles just slip away because I not only see Paris through a new light, but I also see that I’m playing part in an important moment in your life. It’s definitely humbling sometimes. That’s why even if as a guide I’m having a difficult and extra-long day, I can let those annoyances fall to the side when I’m with my group.
Plus… I feed off of your excitement, too – that’s a huge thing! When I have a group who is just loving every minute of being in Paris, it makes me step things up another notch.
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
When I first decided to stay in Paris I found a job working at a youth hostel. But it’s not what you think – I wasn’t just working behind the reception desk. I was up at 5am, passing out hostel flyers at the train station. My job was to get exhausted backpackers/strangers to drag themselves with me to stay at the hostel. It was like telemarketing cold-calling, but face-to-TIRED-face.
Once, I was also on a team organizing 40 000 € worth of flowers for a chateau wedding outside of Paris. Sadly, now I hate the smell of irises…
What’s your hidden talent?
It’s not really hidden, though it is on the back-burner for now (I do have a company and a family, after all!). The thing many people may not know about me is that I’ve been playing the flute and singing for over 40 years. Not bad, huh?
What’s your one best piece of advice to a tourist in Paris?
Don’t compare. Don’t compare Paris to where you are from. Don’t compare the things that are different here – whether it be food, service, waiting lines, drivers… I could go on and on. Just like every other country, the French have their own ways. You’ll have the best time if you just embrace and accept them!
Image: Maxx Stoyanoff Williams