In college, I never studied abroad, mostly because I figured that living across the pond would set back my progress, that I wouldn’t earn enough credits toward my English and Psychology degree. It’s something I’d now advise any student to do, should it be an option.
As a child, I was fortunate enough to leave the country for our family vacations to the Dominican Republic, to Saint Lucia, Mexico, Guadalupe, Eleuthera, places that sounded exotic without even having to visit them for confirmation. It wasn’t until I was married to the Wasband that I set off to Europe. We ate our way through Madrid and Barcelona, where the idea of a tri-color salad was pickles, onions, and a tomato and when you asked for a napkin, they’d slap a piece of ham on it. We shopped in Paris, lounged in Cannes and Nice, then gambled in Monte Carlo and “Hotel Du Cap-eden-roc”ked it in Antibes. We honeymooned in Italy: Venice, Rome, Florence, and a week in Capri. As a New Yorker, it’s been easy to set off to the nearby Caribbean, to the US and British Islands. But Europe has always been my favorite, mainly because I’m not a lover of lounging in the sun. My idea of a vacation involves a camera and sneakers.
Before visiting Japan, my favorite trip was to Italy, where I documented my time in Venice, Florence, Rome, Siena, Bologna, Cinque Terre… here on this blog as I experienced it. But this next vacation in Europe is something truly foreign to me: a European vacation with kids, my kids.
We’re heading to the iconic city of Paris, a destination upon which I insisted and Phil protested. “I just don’t like Paris,” he said, “there’s no reason to go.” Pardon my French? Phil protested, as he’s so apt to do, but then came to me a day later saying he switched the tickets, that the trip would now also include Paris.
Because there’s something iconic about Paris, something that lights up like… Paris. It’s cinematic, it’s all that music and all those movies, and I want to bring that world alive for the beans. Then we’re off to the Netherlands and Belgium.
I’m most looking forward to creating on this trip. Not eating, not shopping, but cultivating my creativity and adding value through drawings, sketchings, photographs, watercolors. Filling my creative well with observations that enrich my life and the lives of those around me.