My purpose with this blog is to transmit to people who haven’t had the chance to travel as much as I have the experiences that have shaped and transformed my life, and the lessons learned in every journey. I will be sharing about trips that I took, and ones that I intend to take and how they affected my life and my bonding with human beings.
Like Anne Frank stated “We all live with the objective of being happy, our lives are all different and yet the same.” No matter where I travel in the world, I notice day after day that everyone seem to be seeking one common thing: happiness. All people regardless of their age, race, or social class are looking for joy. By understanding that happiness is everybody’s journey, I have made every destination a place to connect with.
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Henry Miller
Traveling always opens our minds to a new way of seeing things, and in every journey we get connected to a new reality that wasn’t possible simply because we could have never imagined that reality prior to taking the trip. We often live our lives like it is the only possible way of living (or the right way of living), and we go through it seeing the world entirely from our perspective. Getting out of our own reality expands our possibilities, enriches our experience of what is feasible and stimulates creativity. This is why traveling is so powerful.
Having lived in the Kuwait for the past 12 and a half years I got really used to living life like “time is money, I need to work hard, and blaming myself if I ever have free time to relax and do nothing. It was in a trip to Egypt last year that I realized how much time I spend working and saving money so that one day I will be completely happy, without realizing that happiness is not something that I will find in the future.
I spent 3 days in this beautiful house with some great friends of mine. The house was amazing: it was a traditional Italian stone house with a rustic appeal, it had a beautiful green backyard, and a wood-fired oven. We were away from any technology: no computer, no TV, no cell phone, no internet… yet we were connected to nature and to one another. Our routine consisted of planning what we would eat that day, cooking, enjoying wine, enjoying great company, and relaxing. We would go to the closest town every day to purchase fruit and vegetables from the local organic vendors, go to the bakery to find fresh bread, and cook our food with no hurry at the wood-fired oven. Such a simple life, and yet such fulfilled and happy moments.
It was during this trip that I realized the gift that it is to be with nature, to be with friends, and to have time to enjoy what everyone in the world has access to: the beauty of nature, the love of friends or family, and the taste of mother nature’s fruits and vegetables. By the end of my journey I concluded: happiness is in the present moment, and it can be found in the most simple things of everyday life
Une promenade dans Paris!
Paris is a the world’s destination for art, great food, exquisite wine, romance and lots of walking. There is so much to explore that staying in the City of Light for at least one week is recommended in order to be able to really get a feel for this astonishing city.
Now, if you are like me, and you like to see as many countries as you can in a limited amount of time (we only get 2 weeks of vacation a year after all! 🙂 ), then here are the top 5 places you must see in this unforgettable city:
1- Monmartre – this was my favorite part of the city. With Paris being such a huge metropolis, the Monmartre neighborhood is a great alternative by providing a small town feeling. Packed with little restaurants, cafes, “boulangeries” (bakeries), and souvenir shops it is the perfect place to buy unique gifts, and try France’s famous pain au chocolat. This is where the movie “Amélie” was filmed.
2- Tour Eiffel – A symbol of the City, the Eiffel Tower is a must see. Lines can be very long to take the elevator to go up, but if you are willing to take the steps instead you won’t wait very long. It is actually cheaper to go up the stairs than to take the elevator, plus you will burn the extra calories gained from all the inevitable eating done in this gourmet city.
3- Le Musée du Louvre – One of the largest museums in the world. If you are really into art I would recommend that you spend a whole day here. There is so so much to see, enjoy and learn that by the end the day you will feel overwhelmed with so much information.
4- Les Champs Elysées – La plus belle avenue du monde!! One of the most famous avenues in the world, Champs Elysées is known for its charm, and splendor. It is equivalent to Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, where all the designer stores are located. Currently it costs about U$1.5 million a year for 1,100 of square feet space here! If you are into fashion, and want to see this rich part of Paris, I recommend you sitting in a cafe here to observe how life unfolds in the city.
5- And finally, take some time to explore French Cuisine! Cheese, chocolate, baguette, wine…the French really know how to indulge in great food. And after you eat all of their specialties, take another promenade dans le centre de Paris! This is how the French stay in shape, walking, walking, walking…
Traveling is my passion! It opens up our minds to other perspectives and it makes us understand our past, as we create our futures.
What arose from peregrination was this amazing feeling of “anything is possible” combined with a deep experience of detachment.
Traveling is life changing. Every trip we take leaves us with experiences that shape who we become after that journey, this is why I love traveling.
– Valérie Fernanades 🙂