Another location bites the dust!
It’s odd to say that I’m not a very easy traveler, but it’s true. It feels very serious to me, and I think I am always trying to prepare for a move, instead of a day trip or a vacation. Today, I was so very happy to go and visit a friend in her new apartment in Fontainbleu today. She lives astonishingly close to the castle, and while I wasn’t able to get into town with time to visit before the housewarming began, I will definitely be back this summer.
This friend inspires me to be adventurous. She’s almost shockingly well-traveled, and while I’ve noticed I’m more of a home-body, I’m trying to feel more comfortable with short trips around Paris. I’m not sure why leaving my home for a short amount of time is so much more daunting than a long period of time. I basically picked up and moved myself to France with a few months notice, dedicated to figuring it out when I arrived, yet the idea of a day trip seems to require surgically precise planning…
Today, I compromised with myself. I slept in, before waging war on whatever sentient being had begun to develop self-governance in my sink. I cleaned for hours, and breezed out of the house to meet another friend at the train. I travelled purposefully light. No water bottle, no passport, no extra sunscreen or just-in-case products.
When I was younger, the anxiety of travel had precious little to do with the traveling itself, and everything to do with the feeling that I had left something unfinished. The feeling of needing to get back to business tends to vanish, though, when I accept that there isn’t any business to attend to. The task of the day was, after all, the housewarming. My travel and the new experience felt purposeful.
Fountainbleu feels artificially far from Paris, and as we watched hot air balloons rise over the palace roof, shining round and glorious in the sunset, I felt so happy and untroubled. E called me when he got off work, and it was so delightful to remind him that I had travelled out of the city on, essentially, a whim. On a visit. A social call.
Traveling comes easy to many people, but moving seems to come easier to me. As I’ve realized the difference between these two similar activities, it helps me to acknowledge that there is time for something casual, a quick visit, a momentary newness. It’s especially true now that my program is finished and my weekends feel purely mine again. There’s nothing else to worry about on the weekends. I am here to attend to my happiness and take it very, very seriously this summer. Learning how to travel for short amounts of time, light in spirit, is definitely on my list for the rest of the season!