Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Breathing New Air

I recently went on a trip to Northern France. It wasn't a long trip just 10 days, but it came at a time when I definitely needed to get away.

With the sudden passing of my dog, wondering whether my job is worth dealing with the constant political crap from Congress, and meandering around with no real purpose... Yes I needed a vacation. It got to the point where I couldn't hear one more negative thing from anyone or I was going to burst.
I'll be the first to tell you that if you get to that point you should have taken your vacation a few months prior.

For me I make traveling a priority. It isn't that I have wealth beyond means it's just what I prioritize. So this year I made it a priority to go somewhere big for vacation. Last year, I stayed closer to home but still traveled the Northeast.But then I thought about my family (who prioritizes different things) and how this might be a once-in-a-lifetime trip. And with that come all of these pressures to make it the best trip possible. Thank goodness I don't look at it that way.

I pared it down to what I really needed: 1) forget about my life in DC for a bit; 2) take some pretty pictures; and 3) breathe new air.

Honestly I think these goals saved the trip for me. Nothing went smoothly and as far as pleasant and relaxing trips this one would never make the list. But did I accomplish my goals? YES! And because I let go of any expectations past those 3 little goals I had amazing moments. I breathed the air of Bretagne/Brittany, saw jaw-dropping castles, and stood on the grounds of William the Conqueror and D-Day.

I was also rewarded with moments when I could feel the presence of my Mom and Michelle. I could feel my dog walking through the maze of Chenonceau with me. And I had a truly miraculous moment when I looked upon the English Channel at St Malo. I remember a conversation with my mom over 20 years ago that one day I would go there. She believed me, she believed IN me and I could tell her in that moment that if she hadn't had so much faith in me I would never be there. Immediately a rainbow appeared. That's so like my mom to respond with beauty and grace. The next day I knew exactly what direction I needed to turn my life to and the fear of floundering disappeared.

As far as pretty pictures, well, here is a sample taken from the true star of the trip, my phone. Between the Google Translate app and the camera, my phone delivered and made sure that I could speak only French to the French. And I'll say this, for as much as I butchered their language, everyone was so lovely. Most importantly I learned that letting an experience be organic will allow Life to teach you and guide you. Had I tried to force it to be something else I never would have figured out my next stage in Life and THAT is truly a blessing.