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"Travel is rich with learning opportunities, and the ultimate souvenir is a broader perspective,"

- Rick Steves

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Mindful Wanderlust

My love of travel began as a child traveling with my grandparents on summer vacation with a camper hooked up to their station wagon.  It may not have been glamorous, but I loved seeing new places and having amazing new experiences wherever we went.  As an adult, my love of travel has only expanded.  Whether foreign or domestic, for business or pleasure, I still love getting out of my element and expanding my view of the world.  I admire travel writer Rick Steves for his unique perspective of making travel an opportunity to celebrate differences and overcome misunderstandings.  "Life is more meaningful, fulfilling and flat-out fun when you celebrate rather than fear the diversity on this planet."  This is the basis for mindful travel and wanderlust.

While I am eager to travel whenever and wherever the opportunity arises, I have truly become a Francophile.  From the first time I set foot in France, I felt like I had finally come home.  I understood what Gertrude Stein meant when she said "America is my country and Paris is my hometown."  As much as I love my home and am proud to be an American, I always feel like I leave a part of myself behind each time I leave Paris.  In My Life In France, Julia Child summed up my feelings better than I could my self.

 "I had come to the conclusion that I must really be French, only no on had

informed me of this fact.  I loved the people, the food, the lay of the land,

the civilized atmosphere, and the generous pace of life."