The beginning was simple enough, just a staircase, but after the first major tiered level, the steps became increasingly steep and people were huffing and puffing. I am blessed to be in fairly good shape for doing absolutely nothing to maintain my fitness, so I wasn’t too poor off, but I must admit that after two-thirds of the climb, my beautiful thighs were aching. I mused about how attractive I might be if I climbed a pyramid every day. I think that would be a tremendously amusing fitness regimen. But how many people have access to a pyramid in reality? Very few I suppose.
I felt like I was back in Paris. I felt like I was in 2009 again and Barack Obama was newly president. I felt like I was twirling tipsily in front of Notre Dame. I was in Métros and searching for clues about my grandmother’s life along the Côte d’Azur. And Patsy was there. And Eddie was there. And I was never so content.
I thanked whatever god might be out there that I had the opportunity to see this sight and that my thighs were going to look great after that climb. The golden dome of the old basilica glinted in bright sunshine, the green roof of the new basilica reinforced my comparison to Disney’s Space Mountain, and all over, as far as the eye could see, stretched buildings and homes, boulevards and streets. It was utterly beautiful and my breath was swept away. What a charming nation, what a rich culture, and how lucky I was to be here in this moment to experience it.
One life is hardly enough. I have no fear of death, but I really am irked that I only have a century here. And that is if I’m lucky. For a lot of people, more than I ever expected, a hundred years is plenty. People are tired and worn down and disinterested in life. I think there’s nothing more thrilling than being alive, seeing what’s around and learning about what has happened in the recent and distant past, so I will never understand this attitude. If I could live forever, I would pay whatever price. I’d make a deal with the Devil if that were a real thing.
The point of travel is to learn about the world, not perpetuate your provincial and ethnocentric point of view around the world. You can do yourself no greater disservice than fail to attempt to appreciate the glorious world around us.
Anyway, I learned how to say ‘sack.’
Monday: Why don’t you get some kind of procedure done for fun? I’ve been considering getting acupuncture for some time. I have read good things about it, heard remarkable successes, […]
Reader, I am so excited to tell you about all the wonders I found in Mexico, the delicious foods I had, the tequilas I drank, the gorgeous kittens I met, the kindly strangers who welcomed me into their nation, the cobblestone streets, the crumbling buildings, the hot nights, the pyramids, the ruins, the atmosphere of being somewhere so vibrant and alive. I have very rarely loved a place more, and it feels odd to not be there. Mexico City felt completely like home. In fact…but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Summer is sacred to me. It represents freedom and adventure and culture. During this time, I am blessed with the opportunity to escape normalcy and have a grand and glorious time. These months are vital for my sanity and for the person I am. Travel has become my supreme passion. I think it might be my religion. I have learned so much about the world and myself, and I treasure those experiences. The things I have seen could come from a book, but it would be impossible to experience the sensations. The places I have been could have been visited virtually on Google Maps, but I wouldn’t hear the cars honking, smell the food cooking, or feel the rough roads beneath my feet. When I’m somewhere new, I’m my best self.
LOVE: National Geographic’s “History” Magazine: My favorite magazine that isn’t trashy gossip, fashion, or architecture is National Geographic. It’s the only periodical that I read from cover to cover. I […]
I was in Villefranche. I was in Paris. I was at home. I was walking through Los Angeles. I was thriving and having something of a spiritual moment as the music washed over me. My eyes got all watery — probably some kind of allergic reaction to the curtains, you know? — and it was magic. I always forget how profound an impact music and stories make on us. This one has been in my life for so many years, and I had grown accustomed to the idea of never having this chance. So to be in that audience having this rare opportunity was a delirious delight. I did not take it lightly at all.