Mid-life she decided to move to Paris. A dream she always had. With kids grown and little or no responsibilities she decided to take the plunge! She bought a house exclaiming “it’s my first time”.
I thought about that. I have had many first times. An explorer and lover of adventure, I have sky-dived for the first time. I have moved to different states and countries for the first time. Not to mention my first time at writing and publishing my research on Success Strategies. A book that has many others for their first time.
I remember the first time I experienced childbirth…exhilarating yet humbling experience. 14 years later I did it again for the first time and the experience was no different. Wonders of the world! A little me was born again for the first time.
I now look forward to my own personal travel to a Cafe in the French Quarters…a dream to feast, ponder while I write, and ride the gondola in neighboring Venice. Now that’s a first time that I can hardly wait for as I did in my Weekend In Paris…
Is there something you’d like to do but because it’s the first time you’re afraid? Why not take the risk? Try it. Step out in faith. Who knows you may experience Success for the first time ….all over again.
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. ~Dr. Suess
I have always wanted to visit Paris. This was the promised gift to myself when I hung up my student cap after years and years of continuous studies. Then the workaholic that I am, saw 4 years go by in a flash embarking on community initiatives, writing, and more.
A month ago my oldest surprised me with a Birthday Weekend trip to Paris. But how can I visit Paris for just a weekend? That’s when my youngest ‘scolded’ me. “Go”, she said. “You have always wanted to do it. Just go.” I agreed and made it into a long weekend. Wonder of wonders! I discovered I even had time to spare. Time to watch the rain, the people, and the waves of the Seine River go by at sunset.
Travel Across Continents
The flight was long but it was far from boring. I read. I wrote. I watched movies. I chatted with my oldest, slept, and I ate. Before we knew it, the descent was upon us.
Reading in Flight
Travel’s Cultural Differences
Cultural differences are everywhere. In Paris the hotel rooms are tiny spaces. Just enough to get by, yet absolutely comfortable. TV channels are in le francais. Plugs for chargers, electrical items and such differ. Disappointed, frustrated for sure I was at first, but then it’s not about me. I travel for new experiences and that’s what I got.
A polite society…bonjour, merci, pardon, were among the basics to know in that language and will serve as the basic entre to service. They are curt and offer no apologies. So do your research before you go and you’ll be just fine (smile).
Food in Paris is divine. Delicious. Sumptuous. Absolutely satisfying. But don’t rush….it ain’t fast food. When you visit the unique restaurants among which my fav is the Cafe, you dine, taste the delectables, and chill. No rush for the check. You ask, you eventually receive.
Getting around you have the choice of the cabs, buses, the metro. But may God help you if you do not understand the linguistic pronunciation of the place where you are going. When you arrive at your stop, you may not even know. So ask, ask, ask information before you board. Then read as you progress at each stop.
Speaking from experience…do I need to say more? Hint…frustration (smile)
Paris Sites To See
You haven’t been to Paris if you haven’t visited La Tour Eiffel, Notre-Dame, Le Louvre and smiled with Mona Lisa. Sites …beautiful. Historically meaningful. Mesmerizing. Long walks. Tired feet, but worth every minute.
So that’s a tiny glimpse into my Parisian journey for the first time. The trip was memorable. The photos provide the stillness of the moment. A dream come through. Would I go back? Yessss definitely!
I encourage you to take the time to step out and achieve your own dreams. Big or small, they will come through despite the odds.
It’s peak hour. Early morning. Light’s green. Bottle-neck. Car turns slowly. Suddenly, driver comes out of nowhere and cuts me off. Oh, I’m going to be late. Late for meeting. Late for work. Disappointed. Angry. GreenLight changes. Turns orange. About to turn red. Late for work. Unnecessary delays. I hastened to not let that light catch me. But then it did …because of the irresponsibility and carelessness of others.
I drove through angrily!
Oh what did I do?
Then I started thinking that for sure I am going to have to pay the penalty charge for running-a-red light. The slow driver. The driver that cut me off. None of them will have to pay. Just me. I began thinking… is it worth it? Is it worth it to react in a moment of delay? In a moment of impatience? Just to get to meeting/work on time?
It’s my practice to urge my girls and others to be careful on the road. To be patient. To exercise that patience. Yet I ended up doing the exact same thing. I am thankful that I did not have an accident. So often it is the same reaction that causes serious accidents. But I got lucky. Even though I knew better, I did not act accordingly.
Pursuit of Goals and Dreams
How often does that happen to us in the pursuit of our goals. For me it was the distance to get to my meeting/work. For you it may be goals such as further studies, marriage, starting a family, purchasing a car, house, career change, or other. Then things go awry and we think twice. In some cases we give up.
Today, I encourage you to never give up. Hold on. Be strong. Keep going. You will be glad you did. Need help? Lets connect
If You Had No Fear What Would You Do? What would you do if we were not afraid? These are questions that have been asked time and again. Robert Schuller, Brian Tracy and others have posed this question to their audiences, causing many to think. Here I share some responses received from goal-seekers in a public forum.
Write a book
Take a financial Risk
Become a Motivational Speaker
Start another job
Quit my job and start my business
Start an Organization to empower women
Diving, Riding a Roller Coaster
Get out of my comfort zone
Travel all over the world
Ride a scooter (I’m terrified of them)
Live to love and serve
Take those damn dance classes
Learn Something new
If we look at the ‘wish-list’, some seem very simple to some of us. To others, they are more than difficult. We dare say that often the restraints exist only in our minds. If we were to negate some of the tangible reasons we are afraid, we will find that we can do the very thing that we are afraid to do. Yes there may be financial restraints. There may even be our real hesitance to step out against the will of our family, friends, or those we work with. But most often it is simply our fear of failure.
Today, I challenge you. The next time you find yourself afraid….
If I am an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move. ~Anthony Bourdain
They begin with the end in mind They set specific and challenging goals
A 2-week getaway to Singapore! For 2 years that’s what she planned. All with the bells and whistles of flight, hotels, cruise, and cultural site visits along the way. She did it with the spirit and taste of satisfying dreams.
But how many of us actually do that? Create our goals, plan it, save for it, and not deviate. Hers was a vacation to a far away land. Ours may be Entrepreneurship, a job, career, exercise, home ownership, writing, starting a family, and more. Often we start off with a bang! Then we stall. Procrastinate or give up.
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. ~Ursula K. Le Guin
We have all had our favorite books that we have read from a young age. Some have left an impact on our lives. On a B&N public forum, a reader asked “What Book has stayed with you long after you’ve read it?” Fellow readers poured in with responses. Here I share a few that may prove worthwhile for your vacation, getaway, or a mid-summer night’s read.
Man’s Search for Meaning
We Were the Lucky Ones
The Book Thief
Before I Fall
The Lovely Bones
It Ends with Us
The Lovely Bones
One Hundred Years f solitude
We Were Yours
East of Eden
The Savage Song
To Kill A Mockingbird
A History of Loneliness
Tell Me Your Dreams
The Art of War
The Graveyard Book
The Water Stone
The Night Circus
Gone With the Wind
Crime and Punishment
The Power of Now
A Little Life
The Leisure Seeker
Tuesdays with Morrie
Their Eyes Were Watching God
The Kite Runner
We Were Liars
Does any resonate? Can you add your favorite or two that may be missing? Do share. We’d love to hear.