This was the summer of reminiscing. After our annual trip to Corsica to visit my parents, we headed for Provence, partly to spend a couple of days with our good friends who summer in Seillans, and partly to show our son a part of France that we simply adore, and that he had only seen as a toddler and, therefore, couldn’t remember.
Because we got married in Provence, the area holds a very special place in our hearts. After ten years away, we were reminded of why we used to travel there so often, back in our twenties, when we lived in neighboring Switzerland. The gorgeous landscapes alone would be worth the trip, but it is the slow rhythm of life, so elusive back in the US, but de rigueur in the South of France, that keeps us coming back.
It might be a cliché, but the people of Southern France really do enjoy life, and food, and laughter, and feel absolutely no shame about taking their time with any of it. Don’t we all want more of that in our lives? In the US, we are often so very busy, little hamsters running around on that endlessly turning wheel. I suppose that this is why I am trying to incorporate more of that Provençal slowness and joie de vivre into our lives back home – simple things (such as waking up a few minutes early to enjoy a warm cup of tea alone before the morning rush, taking time on weekends to completely unplug, seeing meditation not as a luxury but as a necessity, spending even longer relaxing hours in the kitchen creating simple yet delicious food that we enjoy, slowly, in the company of good friends) can make a huge difference in our outlook and enjoyment of life.
That’s what traveling often does for me. Besides filling my eyes with unfamiliar beauty, it also creates an expansion of thought, and a stretching of the mind and habits that naturally happen when in contact with different cultures and ways of life. In turn, this gives us the freedom to approach our every day a little differently, and create new ways of being that improve our daily living.
Have you found the same thing in your own travels?
Love and health!