Going to Paris has always been my dream. Of course, I realize, it’s a dream for most people. But unlike many, I don’t like to travel. I get nervous and frequently, I get sick. Really sick. Vomiting. Fevers. Ulcers. Allergic reactions. Honestly, you are better off not traveling with me. One of the places you’ll be visiting is a hospital.
One source of comfort for me is if I am traveling with someone who knows the terrain, a local. As a newbie to their particular spot in the world, the local sees me as someone to be molded, shaped into the ideal visitor. I am up for the task. I relish someone helping me navigate, say, the New York City subway system. As a grateful receiver of said invaluable information, I am a star student. The local will receive effervescent praise and frequent stops at sweet shops as a gratuity. A croissant conveys the sincerest of thanks.
If I could click my heels and travel to Paris and her surroundings, I would do so every moment I was free, even if it was as little as 15 minutes. Getting this prospective lay of the land would go a long way to relieving the anxiety of travel to a new country and hopefully keeping sickness at bay. I am a big fan of the motto, “Be prepared.” Surprises are not my idea of fun.
My first child was born on September 10, 2001. I had one day of believing that the world was a safe and good place to raise a child. After that day, everything changed. You knew what was possible. You knew that nightmares do exist, and that it can happen on a clear and sunny day in one of the most fantastic cities in the world. This is what really lies at the core of my fear of travel, and it’s subsequent gastronomic cruelties. Nerves. Plain and simple.
But if a quick trip were possible here and there! Without the encumbrance of luggage and children! To collect data, to scout the location, to survey the area, then perhaps certain disaster can be avoided.
Until our planned trip to Paris in April, I will try to keep in the forefront of my mind…not burning towers and crashed airplanes. But the Paris of my childhood dreams. Just like in Madeline. Lantern lit streets. Little girls in a row. Dogs with bows. Delicious treats. Feasts for the eyes.