“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
Today we depart France and mark the close of our Summer 2013 family vacation in Europe.
As I reflect on the past 19 days, the words I wrote on May 10 and all my reasons for taking these two young travelers on their second European trip, I’m reminded of Maya Angelou’s words:
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”
I sought to expand their view of this world, of the people on this planet. I sought to give them a glimpse into life outside suburban San Francisco. I sought to show them how others live. I sought to show them history. I sought to make our own history.
I sought to show them why this Californian has fallen in love with Paris, in love with traveling. I sought to show them they are the two most important people in my life.
“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” ~ Miriam Beard
If their world is just a little flatter,
If they are a little more tolerant,
If they are inspired to learn a new language,
If they are, simply, inspired,
If they seek to understand,
If they understand that the best route between two points isn’t always the quickest,
If they know that God’s treasures are always at the end a long (2km!) walk and sometimes it’s turquoise,
If they see turquoise and remember kayaking,
If they have a passion for writing and sharing their experiences,
If they wake up one day and realize they have friends who span the globe, who speak different languages and who have differing cultures,
If they hear “Mona Lisa” and are instantly transported to an afternoon at the Louvre,
If they see 100 year old buildings in San Francisco and are reminded of the 1000 year old buildings in Paris,
If they are forgiving when Dad has to stop to have (some more) gelato,
If they made memories,
If they had fun,
then this was a fantastic summer vacation.
“All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.” ~ Samuel Johnson