The Benefits of Traveling–Our Trip to Paris

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, vacation,

©shelbymcquilkin 2014

For the past two weeks I’ve been living the dream in the glorious city of Paris! Wow! What an amazing trip! Although I love and miss Paris, I’m so glad to be home.

We’ve never really had the opportunity to travel very much so this was a huge deal for us.  Several years ago, our family made a quality decision to follow our dreams and live life to the fullest–that included traveling.  So, a few months ago we took a leap of faith and said, let’s go to Paris!  We saved, made reservations and the trip became a reality.  I think one of the reasons we haven’t traveled is because we believed we couldn’t.  We thought we’d never have enough money, time, or what we needed to go.  But, when we decided we were going, it all came together.

A room with a view!

A room with a view! ©shelbymcquilkin2014

I believe that travel is important, especially for an artist.  Here’s a few benefits I believe we get from travel:

1.  We find new inspiration and fresh perspective with a change of landscape.  Seeing the same thing, doing the same thing day after day can become monotonous.  Travel breathes new life into us.

2.  Our world view expands.  Every culture has something that we don’t.  A view of the world that is different from our own and that can open up a whole new way of thinking for us.  The French taught us so many things. For instance, sitting down and enjoying a meal instead of stuffing our faces and running to the next thing.  Our family has been sitting down together, talking, eating slowly and enjoying the moment. We had lunch at PF Changs yesterday and the waiter got really slammed.  It took a long time to get our food, but it didn’t bother us, we’re use to waiting at French restaurants.  The waiter apologized for the service, but we smiled and said, “no problem”.  Three weeks ago we would’ve been upset and stressed that it took so long to get our food!

3. It challenges us.  We were challenged with language, which we had been working on for several months.  Most people spoke English, but we tried to communicate in French when we could.  We had to learn how to use the subway, figuring out maps and where to change trains was overwhelming at times.  Physically, the trip pushed us to our limits at times.  We walked all over the city, we climbed stairs, we were so exhausted at the end of every day.  I’m still so stiff, I can barely move!  But, it was good for us.

4. Traveling educates us.  History, art, geography, politics, you can learn so much when you travel.  I was reading a book called “Sixty Million Frenchmen can’t be Wrong” during my trip.  It gave me an understanding of the French people, the history and how the government works.  It really enriched my trip and helped me put into perspective why the French think the way they do.

5. It changes us.  I can see changes in my family since we returned from Paris.  New motivation, new perspectives on life, and a renewed vision in our eyes.  As tired and jet lagged as we are, I can see a fire burning in us that wasn’t there before.  I’m excited to see how that will affect us as a family and as individuals this coming year.

Personally, I’m exhausted at the moment and I’ve got to do some catching up to do around here, but I’m anxious to get back to the easel and start painting again!   Life is good and I’m so happy and fortunate to have had such a lovely experience.

Paris metro makes getting around Paris a breeze. @shelbymcquilkin 2014

The Metro makes getting around Paris a breeze. @shelbymcquilkin 2014

Leave a Reply