Now, that the jetlag has finally cleared, I’m ready to tackle this post.
I had the most incredible opportunity to travel to France this summer with time in both Lyon and Marseilles. I loved it all- the food, the people, the buildings, the fields, fresh lavender everywhere. All of it. As I had a lot of travel time to think and no phone service (more on that below), I realized this trip, like all good trips, provided me with new perspectives on life. I wanted to write this post, mostly for myself, so I don’t forget as I settle back into the daily grind, but hopefully it gets you thinking too!
It was nice not having phone service.
I discovered upon landing in France that my service provider only supports 5G in Europe. For most people this would not be a problem, but because my phone is ancient in this day and age (7+ years and, seemingly, still going strong), it only supports 3G and 4G. So, basically, I had a camera rather than a cell phone.
While I wanted to be able to text updates to my family, it was nice being unable to waste time scrolling through social media, getting robocalls, or seeing emails come in all day. I was able to connect to WiFi at night and check back in, so I wasn’t completely cut-off from the world. But I found myself with more time to think and to observe. There were so many picturesque sights that I would have missed on the train if I had been glued to my phone as a way to kill time. Think beautiful crumbling castle-like structures on a hill with small villages below and endless sunflower fields.
Plus, somehow it made the trip actually feel like a true getaway. The ‘real’ world was far away and I was unreachable.
I have too much stuff.
I’ve been feeling this way for a while- hence my post on decluttering and organizing– but something about this trip really put it all into perspective. Seeing the way other people live, the way other people shop (local markets rather than mega stores), and the way other people try to reduce waste (so much less plastic), made me look at my own habits. Am I living up to my values and the impact I want to have on the planet?
On that note about the planet, seeing the glacier at Mont Blanc made me literally speechless. Knowing that it’s getting smaller every year is deeply disturbing.
I want more creative hobbies.
I realize not everyone is the same, not every city is the same, etc. But hearing from people there about what they do in their free time was inspiring. For example, the engineer who does yoga, takes dance classes, and also painting classes. I would love to get more in touch with my creative side and maybe start tackling something on my fun list.
Unfortunately, it’s very easy to fall into the scrolling social media/streaming shows trap whenever I get free time rather than other activities…
If you stuck around this long, thanks for reading! I know it’s more of a personal rambling. If you’ve ever had a trip change your perspective, I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment below!
Also, my trip made me want to plant some lavender around my house. That scent!