People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering. ~St. Augustine
Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. ~Maya Angelou
I was addicted to work. Call it a workaholic or whatever. I worked in the global pharmaceutical industry for a decade and more where I traveled extensively throughout the world including Latin America and the Caribbean. Those areas that I did not travel, I organized and sent teams to sales conventions. When I traveled I would go in on the first flight for a meeting, stay few days to a week then left on the last or first flight out to be back in the office the next day. Whew!
The Travel Bug
There’s now the tug at the heart that says hey…. it’s time to go! As Michael Palin said
Once the travel bug bites, there’s no known antidote
So yes… now I have decided to step out, travel to all these countries again … but this time for pleasure
Benefits Of Travel
So what can traveling do for you? Are there benefits? Here I share 5 reasons:
Traveling helps us learn and experience different cultures.
It helps to expand our view of how other people live.
It opens our minds to different food.
It allows us to expand our horizon.
It’s uncomfortable. I’m talking delayed flights, lost luggage and more… all of which means discomfort. But that come with traveling. Then after, you gain the exhilarating discoveries, joys and comfort!
Today I urge you to make the decision. Follow your dreams. Travel….and while you’re at it, Plan other goals. Its totally exciting!
Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white. ~Mark Jenkins
Only it seems to me that once in your life before you die you ought to see a country where they don’t talk in English and don’t even want to. ~Thornton Wilder
I ordered a coffee and a little something to eat and savored the warmth and dryness. Somewhere in the background Nat King Cole sang a perky tune. I watched the rain beat down on the road outside and told myself that one day this would be twenty years ago. ~Bill Bryson
When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing – just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, or a flickering candle? ~Ralph Maston
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.