Back in Greensboro for over a week settling into the hum of my routines and rituals. I hadn't expected to feel entirely different, but I do. I'm in the thick middle of processing everything I've learned from my short experience returning to Paris. It's apparent to me my life will need to change drastically as a few big lessons are still ringing in my ears like the day after a loud concert. Even though I'm still figuring out what all of that means in the long run I can share 3 lessons from travels in Paris.
1) Travel is a Must: Going forward travel is a non-negotioable because it breeds adventure. Returning to my normal life everything feels boring. For the record boring is a refuge and not only comforting but can help build a life of grounded stability which is wonderful at times, but I think I've had my fill of stability for awhile. Travel reminded me how adventure has special lessons hidden if I'm ready to receive them. Travel gifted me adventure, my job was to flow with what I was given. Like a meticulously cared for vintage omega watch my life has run well, because I wind it every day with ritual and routine. This predictable, responsible, life of mine is full with friends and loving interactions but little in the way of adventures lessons. Prior to this trip for some reason I'd pushed aside my desire for both travel and adventure, I'll not tolerate that from myself going forward theres too much to learn that I would miss if I don't travel more.
2) Creative fires are stoked during travel: In Paris I filled an entire light blue Detroit made shanola note book with my musings, morning pages, thoughts, ideas for blog posts, and notes from our writing workshops taught by the brilliant Kimberly Wilson. Filled with thoughts to share and thought for my eyes only, it was as if I was overflowing with creativity. Along with copious amounts of writing the photographer in me was re-born. Yes, I had the perfect subject, Paris is very photogenic, but I remembered just how much I loved photography. Each walk was an opportunity to catch people being people, or the light hitting a building just right in a way that visually articulated the feel of the moment. Why did I have to travel to remember there's an artist trapped inside of me? Out of my normal routine in a new environment that places high importance on the beauty of little things and details, not writing or not snapping photos would have felt like a mortal sin, a betrayal of all things holy. Traveling fills up my creativity well and I know there is much more to produce.
3) I brought Paris home with me: Arriving state side the juxtaposition between Paris and Greensboro gives startling contrasts even if both are beautiful in their own right. Walking down the streets of Paris it feels like there are delights and surprises around every corner. Coming home and walking through my neighborhood, I've got to look harder for delights and surprises, but I know they're there if I pay attention, if I slow down to find them and enjoy them. It's as simple as choosing to take my bike to the grocery store (something very Parisian). Cycling to the store takes exactly as much time as it does for me to drive in my car, but the bike ride is 100% more enjoyable because it becomes a sensory experience, the air on my skin, the freedom the bike gives me, the sounds of the road and the way riding requires me to be completely present. I was completely present in France, moving through my days slowly so that I could savor every moment and I can make the choice to savor ever moment here too.
Have you traveled recently what are three lessons you brought back with you? I'd love to know.