After more than 24 hours of travel and only a smattering of sleep, we are here. It is twilight and I feel as though I’m at the hop of the world. Crickets chatter and the last birds of the day make themselves known.
We are miles away from we came from. Echoes of a foreign but familiar musical language spoken by families, travelers, children, our guides, the madame of our quaint little house- these sounds fill my memory of today. I can also see a blur of bustling airports- Portland, Chicago, Charles de Gaulle…travelers with roller bags headed headed to far-off destinations, non-sleep camped in the plane, airplane food, waiting and reading in the airport tran station, sitting and sleeping on the TGV as the countryside sped by, opening my eyes towards the end of the trop to a sequence of stunning images taken out of a dream or movie- white beaches, people in swim suits, beating sun, colorful lifeguard & ice cream stands, the bluest teal water, endless yachts, frolicers on bicycles- the French Riviera. This is how we spent our day.
But all of this is far away as we finally sit and contemplate the twilight. I am sitting, relaxed for the first time in two days- not in transit, not in an airport hotel, just sitting. The frogs have begun their nightly song, melodically declaring their happiness that the temperature has dropped. We’re sitting at the top of a craggy hilltop looking over Nice and the ocean 10 miles away and it feels almost surreal.
My goal for the next five weeks of travel is to just stay in the moment. Absorb. Realize that I’m in another place, a new setting so different from our own. Revel in the fact that this stone villa amidst lush gardens and teetering on the edge of a cliff in France is real.