Lessons from Travel
"One's Destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things" - Henry Miller
What did I learn in this past month focused on intentional travel? Some things were light-hearted, others heart-wrenching, but all valuable.
- It is worth paying more for a comfortable seat on an 8 hour flight! I don't think that requires too much clarification.
- If you think new shoes have been "broken in" enough wear them about 40 more times before you decide to walk all over France in them. Your feet will thank you for it.
- People all over the world think the "grass is always greener". Every time I return to Europe I see more and more American brands and businesses infiltrating the culture. Not always a bad thing I suppose. But, I did not travel thousands of miles to walk the streets slurping on a carry out cup of Starbucks, but rather to languish over a cafe creme at a corner cafe while watching the world go by.
- The world truly has become a melting pot. My French has improved in smaller increments than I would like, but is better each time we travel. I was saddened on this trip to encounter "locals" in Paris who did not speak French at all.
- My minimalism has finally made my travel packing more appropriate. This was my lightest trip ever and I still came home with two dresses that I did not wear. I do love the opportunity to live out of my suitcase and just have the necessities at my fingertips. It was inspiration to down-size a little more on my return home.
- Our day at the WWII museum and the beaches of Normandy reminded me of two poignant things. One, in every war too many young men and women die for the avarice of a few. Two, I will never understand the atrocities that human beings will enact in the name of God or country.
- Lastly, on this trip I was reminded of one of my favorite reasons to travel, particularly to France. I am borrowing the words of Kate Betts from her book My Paris Dream because she stated it so simply and completely. "Everywhere I looked, the past was present." I love the history that is right in front of me everywhere I look in France.