Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Look Back to Help Me Move Forward

With above average warm temperatures spring is on its way in. I don't know what it is about the warmer weather provoking past experiences to surface. I guess with my desire to travel, especially back to Paris and France in particular, memories have flooded back of my past experiences abroad.
The second time I flew to France, I went by myself. First solo trip overseas in fact. (The first time I traveled with another girl my age) While my final destination was not Paris, my plane landed there. After I got through customs, my host father picked me up, picked his daughter up (she had stayed with my family and we were flying back at the same time, just different airlines), and whisk us off to the train station. My host sister, C, and I then took a TGV train down to La Rochelle to join the rest of her family at their country chateau.
When I was picked up at Charles DeGaulle (airport) we had to go to another airport. While we were winding through the crazy streets of Paris, the sunroof was opened and I had a fantastic view of Paris streets and buildings above and around me. Although it was the second time I had been to Paris I was still awestruck with what was all around me. Despite the jet lag, wretched traffic, and a near major car accident, I was still giddy and dumbstruck all at the same time. Looking up on buildings older than most at home, I felt like a child discovering something new for the first time. Thinking back on that now, I can still feel the raw emotions I experienced in that car nearly 10 years ago.
Isn't that what provokes us to travel? The intense waves of emotions at seeing something so remarkably different, while at the same time finding what binds us together as the human race on this planet? While I understand that my past experiences were unique to that very time, and that they will not be repeated again, I still want to go and experience it (Paris) and other places again. See places with older, and hopefully wiser eyes; and take in all the emotions and thoughts that go along with being away from home. I do believe that these kinds of experiences really help one grow and appreciate wherever their home is and the rest of the world. I know that I cannot speak enough of what traveling has done for my development as a person. Despite both negative and positive occurrences away from home, I want more of it- to help me gain more perspective and to store away precious memories.

Man I need to get myself on a jet plane soon!

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