On my first trip to France my age was twenty-nine years old. I had dreamt of going to France ever since that summer between the fifth and sixth grade, right after I had finished my first semester of grade school French. My interest became even more piqued after I read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens in my high school British Lit class. Revolutionary that I was, I wanted to visit a country that could spawn a revolution over a loaf of bread. I wanted it to be my first trip out of my own country, and it was.
It took me a long time to get there, a long time to organize, i.e. buy a one way ticket, and it wasn’t until my father had passed away and left me a little money that I could afford to go. Even so, it was still a few years before I got away. I had gone through art school and university and honed down my desire for visiting France to a desire of visiting the city of Paris – although that first trip was a long one and I visited many more places along the way.
Paris feels like home to me. I feel more at home in Paris than any other place I’ve ever lived in or traveled to. I have often wondered about this feeling. A feeling in my heart. Like love. But more like home. I have often wondered if it was borne out of my French and Art History professors’ passion for the art, culture, and language of the place, that their passion had rubbed off onto me, or if it was, or is, something deeper within me.
Within Paris there are places that I visit often. Like the Basilica of Saint-Denis. The Winged Victory in the Louvre. And Rodin’s museum. Why? I do not really know, but I feel some sort of a connection to these places.
To this day, when I travel to Europe, I fly in and out of CDG, the international airport just north of Paris. If my destination is somewhere else, then I take the train from there, after spending a week or so, sometimes a month, acclimating to the time change. I’ve always envied those folks that could hit the ground running after a fourteen hour flight through a nine-hour time difference.
Other places have called to me, either by my contemplating on where in the world to go next, or by sheer random invitation. If you believe in reincarnation, and I do, I have often thought that because of the ease of travel in this lifetime I am compelled to travel to places where I have lived and that I have loved before. I also believe that invitations that appear to be random are not, not really, and it only takes a moment or two of contemplation to decide if they are right for me at the moment.
The next time you are thinking of making a trip or traveling to some far flung destination, sit with yourself for a moment and ask yourself where your next destination lies. You may be surprised at the answer that follows, but give it some serious consideration.
The soul always leads one in the right direction.