Yes, it’s quaint and beautiful and we should all move there. I was delighted to witness what I’d heard so many people talk about—that everyone rides a bike. Some carry 1–3 others with them. I carried my sister on a bicycle a couple of times and had a terrible time getting started so I was incredibly impressed by some mothers and fathers carrying their little ones with seemingly no effort whatsoever.
I also noticed that, in comparison, our elderly seem to be in a rough spot in the U.S.—poorly treated and tucked away to wither of boredom and other horrible ailments. In Amsterdam, the majority seemed to flourish and were in good enough health to ride a bicycle like the rest of the the city and each sported the latest fashions and haircuts. I was all at once cheerfully optimistic and woeful about the way the aged and experienced finish out their years here. I wish I could change it.
“Look up. Always.”
Every detail is immaculate, labored over, filled with heart and soul, crafted by every day masters. What humanity can do—and especially used to invest their time in—blows my mind. I was overwhelmed and awed.
What I truly treasured from our brief stay in Paris was the human connections I witnessed. One evening, my sister and I went to dinner at 10:30. This particular restaurant was bursting with people and conversation and everyone dining outside was smoking. Once seated, we slowly took notice of those around us. They were enraptured in their conversations and from the looks of it, they had spent hours there just talking. There wasn’t a phone in sight. This was profound to me. We need each other; we need face to face connection. We’ve forgotten this but I think we’re slowly remembering. I am committing to listening, loving, sharing, and laughing with the people that are right in front of me. This isn’t just sentimental or romantic, it’s imperative. Who knows what wealth of joy and inspiration can be found in those you haven’t given much though to? And what could you share that might enlighten or encourage someone else?