I’ve learned quite a few things in the past few weeks since I last posted. If I shared them all, I know it would take me about three days to write so I’ll try to hit the highlights. First of all, why trains are better than planes:
1) The view of the countryside
2) No long lines through security
3) You can bring wine (and other beverages for that matter…in France at least)
4) People run with the train to say goodbye
5) You can face eachother
6) You can bring food
7) Soothing sounds
8) More legroom
9) You’re always free to move about the cabin
10) You keep your luggage with you
11) There are tables/more room for activities
12) No recycled air
13) It feels like you’re going to Hogwarts
15) They make you fall in love with life.
Additionally, trains took me to some amazing places this past week, including Paris, Flavigny, and Lyon, France. In these places I learned about myself, the people I was traveling with, the kindness and generosity of people, various lifestyles, navigation, history, and a bit of geography.
My trip this past week was the experience of a lifetime and I felt truly blessed to have encountered the people that I did. We were welcomed into the homes and company of so many people, it was astonishing. I think that is the main thing I will take away from my travels.
I also learned that it’s always good to slow down every once in a while. This realization popped up numerous times throughout the trip but was especially emphasized at one moment in time. As we walked down the rue Victor Hugo to do a little shopping, we came across an older man playing the violin. I am just a sucker for anyone playing violin on the street so I crept closer to drop some change in his case. As I came closer he made eye contact with me and smiled. I dropped the change in and we began to walk away. We then realized that we had no rush to be anywhere and decided to sit and listen for a while. As we sat, I started to watch the people walking by. Most people glanced over and smiled if they happened to make eye contact with the man. However, every single child looked over with the biggest eyes and a look of wonderment. Every one. In the middle of our midday concert, a younger man approached. He was maybe early to mid-twenties and engrossed in his phone. He was nicely dressed with a button up shirt and a sweater draped over his shoulders and donned a pair of expensive-looking sunglasses. As he came closer, the violinist turned in his direction and began to play to him. The younger man walked by, maybe two feet in front of the violinist, and never once looked up. I think this just amused the violinist but it broke my heart. Even if you’re in a rush, it doesn’t hurt to take note of the beauty in the world. Even if you pause for just a second, I think it makes a world of difference for both you and the people around you.
This post has now become excessively long but I thought I’d share just a bit of what my life has been like lately. I hope you take the time to discover something new.