850 year old Notre Dame Cathedral catching fire. A touching obituary by a 35 year old who chose to forego chemo and instead live life to the fullest. If this week has revealed anything, it’s that life is short and anything can happen. So in that spirit, my advice is simple: Take the Damn Trip.
My words of advice in the aftermath of the Notre Dame destruction:
Take the damn trip.
You’ll have to pardon my choice of words, but I’m using damn for emphasis here.
The fire in Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral teaches us anything it’s that we cannot assume places will be there to see. I think that’s why this monumental cathedral’s burning has shocked our collective conscience. Time is fleeting. No time to mess around tabling life goals and aspirations.
For those of us who are lucky enough to have been on the hallowed ground of Île de la Cité in Paris where Notre Dame stood, we all have turned reflective of our experiences there. Sharing our Notre Dame/Paris stories has been a way to relive those memories.
Although it’s been almost 17 years since I was in Paris, I cherish that trip because my almost 1 year old daughter started to walk in a Parisian park. That day is so vividly etched in my memory along with the one where we took a family photo of the 3 of us-Taylor asleep in her stroller and the majestic Notre Dame behind us.
And add the news about Bailey Matheson, a brave 35 year old who chose to pass on chemotherapy after radiation did not stem her cancer advancing. Instead , her remaining 2 years were spent spending time with her family and friends and traveling the world. In her final months, the Canadian traveled to 13 countries, including the U.S., Ireland, England, Norway, Croatia, Montenegro, St. Lucia, Mexico, France, Morocco, Greece, Portugal and Spain.
In her self-written obituary, she urges people to not “take the small stuff so seriously and live a little.” One of her friends said that her outlook was simple:
She took her diagnosis as a strange blessing in disguise, in a way, because most people just go every day and take it for granted. And when you get diagnosed with something like that, there’s no taking it for granted anymore…You just do everything you want to do and say everything you want to say.”
Don’t wait until health becomes a barrier to travel.
My mom and I are going to Italy together later this year to celebrate her 75th birthday. Sure, she’s wired for travel (that’s where I get it you know). But she also understands that she wants to be able to stroll the streets and climb the hills herself. Heck, she just might leave me in the dust as fit as she is. (Seriously, she works out at least 4 times a week and may embarrass me.)
What I’m not doing is advocating to being irresponsible financially for the sake of travel. As much as I would be that person to try and rationalize as many vacations as possible, that is not plausible. So pick places with purpose. That’s why they call it a bucket list and you have to rank destinations in their order of priority to you.
Where have you always wanted to travel? Set your sights on it and make it happen. I’d love to trek to Hawaii and also add the Mediterranean, Spain, and Greece to my passport stamps. Let’s be accountability buddies and make sure that we make it happen.
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