While I share a lot of my life online as a blogger and on social media, like all of us, what you see on the surface is only the tip of the iceberg of my whole life. And in the past few months, I’ve struggled with finding inspiration in the every day, in really enjoying what’s in front of me, in just really feeling whole. And while on the outside, everything seemed fine and my life kept running, inside I’ve felt anything but great. I think that feeling is a combination of a lot of things and many of them completely out of my control, but in the end, that feeling of just feeling like I’m not completely myself has lingered way too long. I realized this past weekend while in Paris that the root of that feeling is often due to things I can’t control but I do have the ability to regain some of that control by doing things I love to bring me back to life. And one of those things is to travel, to visit places I love and to just slow down and enjoy the moments.
All too often I take on too much in my daily life and I don’t stop to enjoy what’s in front of me. All too often I don’t linger over a 2 hour dinner or take croissants to the park, just to sit and enjoy the view. All too often I don’t stop and look around me at the beauty of wherever I am, all too often I’m going too fast. So this past weekend in Paris, I purposely did those things. I purposely lingered over long lunches and dinners and sipped French wine. I purposely took time to sit and watch the sunset as it dipped below the horizon. I purposely chose moments to enjoy that brought peace and purpose. I purposely slowed down. And I purposely stopped every now and then, when I wanted to just take in everything around me. I changed that feeling I had had before this trip and stopped it in its tracks, instead choosing magic in a place I love and learned an important lesson in the process.
While travel is usually the thing that brings me back to life, it isn’t always incredible and it isn’t always magical. Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it’s exhausting and sometimes it’s a let down. That’s just the honest truth. And while that doesn’t make it any less worthwhile, it also means sometimes you come home from a trip not feeling energized or inspired at all. I’ve had lots of those kinds of trips. But this last one for a long weekend in Paris, with a day trip to London in the middle, was the complete opposite of that and sometimes, trips like this one, are pure magic.
Coming at a time when I sincerely needed it, this time in Paris, after more trips there than I can count anymore, it was a few days that truly soothed my soul. Travel has the ability to cure us, to excite us, to pull the best out of us and sometimes you’ll come across a trip that really makes a mark on your soul, that changes you to your core. Those are the travels that we all long for, that we search for and sometimes those travels will open us to the change we really need. Sometimes travel will bring together a person and place to create something that can only be described as magic and when that happens, savor it until the very last moment.