Notre Dame de Paris
Traveling is one of the best ways in life to learn about others and discover some of the best things about yourself in the process. It's not just about seeing the fantastic museums, classic monuments and famous works of architecture, although those are part of the experience. It's deeper than that.
Yesterday was a perfect example of the effect that travel can have. When the news first hit of Notre Dame being on fire at first it was unbelievable. Then the reality set in and we watched in horror as the entire roof and iconic spire fell into the flames. These scenes brought back memories.
The first time I ever went to Notre Dame de Paris it was in the mid '90's. I had an old Instamatic camera and my pictures were sadly lacking. I don't even have pictures of the cathedral from that time period. The only pictures I found were from a few years ago which in turn brought back other memories of travels and experiences. These are the reasons we travel.
As alluded to above we travel to make memories. We travel to be aware of the world around us and we travel to learn and be exposed to new cultures. Traveling is not just for entertainment; not just to say we’ve been a certain place. The best form of traveling in my opinion is to travel with locals. You learn parts of the culture and you learn about the area in more intimate ways. You aren’t simply taken to the tourist areas. You are taken to the areas that the locals know about. You get to experience their experiences and in turn it makes you a more well rounded individual. It teaches you about the other culture and teaches you about yourself. In addition if you pay attention and absorb all you can, you come back with a broader viewpoint. For instance I’ve been to Italy now several times. Doing so has taught me about my history. My grandpa moved to the United States when he was 10 years old. I never understood why he did some things the way he did. Now it is so much more clear. His thinking makes more sense to me now. The old country had an effect on him throughout his entire life. These are things that were so important for me to learn and I didn’t even know it before I learned it. These are the reasons we travel.
These thoughts all came back to me seeing Notre Dame in flames yesterday. I was at work but was very much affected by the news. It saddened me to see such a religious and historical symbol, a holy place which is also an amazing work of art and love. It brought back so many memories and experiences as well. I feel truly grateful to have been able to experience it as it stood.
I hope that Notre Dame can be restored quickly. I would hate to see such a symbol of importance to so many lay in ruins. So many deserve to see her back in all her glory. These are the reasons why we travel.
Thanks for visiting and remember to "Strive to Arrive"!