TRAVELING: WHAT MEMORIES ARE MADE OF
July 28, 2020
Hello everyone and faithful readers. It's been a few since my last blog posting but I've been busy. I know that's no excuse because this is what I have promised and resigned myself to do and I should remain steadfast and dedicated. But the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of good news and maybe not so good news. Plus on top of that I traveled from the US back to London which took a few days to get settled and acclimated to the time zone. My blog is a dream coming true and instead of rushing to write content I wanted to make sure I was settled, relaxed and in a good creative frame of mind so what I wrote wouldn't be crap.
So I traveled back to London last week which was my first trip after the start of the pandemic. We are living in interesting times and it's changed the way we have to do things if we want to maintain any sense of normalcy. Traveling is one of those things many of us love to do and we still can but we must travel in a different way. Unfortunately with so many current bans it really restricts our movements as well and that is very disappointing. Some of us have a lot of time on our hands so this would have been the perfect time to explore and take a few trips abroad. Sadly we can not. But we can talk about what excites us and what leaves us brimming with anticipation when we think about traveling. For me it's certain islands and my main love -EUROPE!
I love traveling to Europe. My love for Europe started when I was a very young girl. I was fortunate to have a mom that loved traveling and due to her job with the airlines (a job she acquired before I was even born) we traveled often and everywhere. I guess you can say I was born with travelers' blood running in my veins. My first memories of traveling are getting dressed up (because in those days people dressed up to get on a plane), taking my big seat in first class (one of the many benefits of being an airline employee), getting spoiled by the food and service of first class. Traveling first class was literally caviar and champagne dreams including a carving roast. I sat in my seat watching in anticipation as the salad cart came down the aisle which was an actual salad bowl and the flight attendant would mix each individual salad. Not that we didn't end up in the economy section sometimes, but glad I was able, on many occasions, to experience all the amenities of traveling in first class when first class was...well FIRST CLASS! But my fondest memories are my travels to Europe. I remember my first trip to Paris and I thought to myself "even the air feels different."
Paris is and will always remain one of my favorite European destinations. My very first visit was at the age of 13 and I found myself in awe of everything. The architecture, the food, the people and of course the way the french women dressed. I studied how they wore black skirts with ballerina flats and how they looked chic, comfortable and effortless. It is what french women are known for and it was not lost on this little kid from Chicago. I even went home and tried to copy the Paris street styles I fell in love with. Sometimes I would get to miss a couple of days of school because my mom and I would jump on the plane and fly to Paris for the weekend and do a little shopping. One Paris trip we drove to the south of France for a few days. It was my first time seeing women topless sunbathing on the beach. Everything about Paris and France intrigued me.
Now in my adult years I still have that love and intrigue for France. Several years ago I was able to travel and explore the countryside in Limoges, France. It was very charming. That's another thing I love about Europe. So many towns and places remain or at least appear to remain untouched and as you walk around you feel like you're in a different time. No more hustle and bustle. You are transported to a time when things were more relaxed. Walking around your senses become heightened and you become aware of the sights, sounds and aromas all around. You become centered. You begin to understand long lunches, sipping and actually tasting the wines, how real butter tastes, the importance of a freshly made baguette and the brilliance of french cooking. And french cooking is brilliant! No matter where you go you find good food. Not food pre-made and/or with any artificial anything. Good whole food cooked with fresh herbs, butter and sauces that make you slide out of your chair when you taste them. In Limoges we stopped at a place that is similar to a truck stop for lunch on the way to the airport. At first I thought it was an odd choice but I had one of the best meals ever at this little off the road place that I probably would not have even noticed. Good thing someone suggested it as a good place to stop. The food was very rustic and delicious. The wine was inexpensive and good. But that said. it's hard to find a bad bottle of wine anywhere in France. It was a memorable afternoon.
Memories, it's one of the main benefits of traveling. Isn't it? We know the memories will stay with us for our lifetimes. Even when we are no longer in that moment, that moment is still with us. I think that's one reason we love traveling, and we take great care in planning out where we want to go and what we will do when we get there. It's a great thing to have and revisit during times we may have forgotten what joy feels like. Or during times when we are unsure what tomorrow brings. During times like we are experiencing now. Memories are important because they give us something to smile about and to look forward to planning again. So once the bans are lifted and everyone begins to venture further away from their homes hopefully new adventures and travels are in the works to create new and vibrant memories. Safe Travels!