Today, we leave for Paris. To say that we’re excited would be accurate, but it’s more of a “warm, thrilled to be able to go away together” kind of excitement, rather than an “OMG WE’RE GOING TO PARIS” kind of thing. Because it’s every-present in our minds that, a week from today, we’ll be in Paris, but TWO weeks from today, we’ll be back in Chicago, and the vacation will be an accumulation of beautiful memories, credit card bills, and a few gorgeous items we purchased…
Travel is hard – there’s no question. You’re out of your usual routine, all of your normal “stuff” is either somewhere else completely, or crammed into bags, and for many people, you’re someplace where you don’t understand most of what’s going on around you. Add in some jet lag, a bit too much rich food, and the unavoidable Stendahl syndrome of seeing too much beauty, and things can get rocky…
I’ve been reading an article about Andre Maurois in the current issue of France-Amerique, and his advice about travel is pretty sage. He was writing for those from France who were visiting the US, but it works both ways:
“You’ve read, in the course of your trip preparations, a hundred books about America: forget them all. Travelers are inclined, when they describe a distant country, to exaggerate what’s foreign… You’re going to America, not to the moon. Don’t freak out…”
(my very loose translation of Maurois)
We’re going on vacation to be together. To celebrate our anniversary. To get some rest. To laugh, hold hands, see beautiful things together, and get to know each other better. We want to come back from this trip rested, and more in love.
That’s not a complicated agenda, eh?