Travelling does not seem to give joy to those who do it without regular reality checks. The idea of going away and running away to explore loses its meaning when there’s nothing to escape. Having traveled to Paris, London, Berlin and Alicante, I no longer feel the urge to see monuments and check them off my bucket list, the magic lies in the eagerness to explore and when the world’s wonders are at your feet, the magic fades away.
Paris did not excite me as much as I had hoped, not because it wasn’t beautiful but because I felt too much like a tourist. The number of people around me ruined the peace and serenity, it ruins that moment of realization where you can close your eyes and breathe in every single brick, stone and pavement around you and think, “A hundred years ago, someone was standing at this very spot and living and breathing and seeing the world a lot differently. Perhaps thinking about how a hundred years from now the world would be a better place and someone would stand here to marvel at the past.”
Nonetheless, you can’t go too long without having to admit that the grandeur and spaciousness of Paris was one to greet with marvel and impressiveness. Upon having spent nights at the Lido watching one of the finest shows in Paris and dining at the Eiffel Tower, I have come to realize that the French in Paris seem to be of a higher class, one with champagne glasses and overpriced shows filled with glamour and sparkle. But I do not think that there would be any to object when I say that Paris is not the true beauty of France, it is but one of the luxuries.
The streets reek of beauty and paradise all put together in remembrance of the French revolution, at least that’s what comes to mind. Famous names thrown around with predicated caution and morals of liberty, equality and fraternity pumping in the veins of every Frenchman. Powerful patriotism is the scent of France.
In the short time that I spent interacting with those who prefer French over Dutch in Belgium, I have come to realize that the language has beauty and passion much similar to its sister language Spanish. Both languages are reminders of history and exposure. Every syllable that rolls of the tongues of those that claim to be native is empowered with an uncanny sense of sophistication and smoothness but also of resentful arrogance. I do not quite know why.
France is not just a country, it’s an aesthetic. It’s a way of belief and of life. I may not have spent enough time in the nooks and crannies of medieval France, after all, even the most perfect sculptures have a few cracks; but it is my well-founded belief that it is a country of humbling determination and grace.