Paris. Day 1.
Back in Paris after 15 years and the last thing I expected to feel as we stood in the airport queue to enter the country, was anxious. As much as I love being in big cities that take me completely out of my comfort zone, I realised that in the last decade I’ve only travelled east, which feels neighbourly and therefore has a sense of familiarity.
Being in the West, amongst so many white people on the other hand feels overwhelmingly new. I was surprised at how anxious I felt facing the newness, walking the streets and trying to find our way around. It made me think back to 19 year old me, who was obviously much more open to negotiating a new experience. I felt an overwhelming sense of kindness and respect for the person I once was who thought nothing to pick up and go to a new country all by herself. There’s a sense of heart-wide-openness that I remember from then, which made it possible to wander the city with nothing more than a backpack and a map. It was long before smartphones, and I feel that lack of feeling tentative and to go all in made it a special trip.
Wandering around this city yesterday, I had a deep longing for that kind of uncertain wandering. Of eagerness with no plans. And I felt a renewed sense of what I want to work towards next. Here’s to growing up and staying young and to bringing back that unfiltered curiosity and softness in my heart.
Two years ago: Day 263: All you need is less — projects