I'm traveling internationally for the first time since my son was born and he's along for the trip (Good golly, may all the forces be with us!) But, this trip is important because travel has been so influential in my life that I want to pass that gift on to my son, too.
When I was just six, I took my first international trip with my family as we moved to the United States. I'll never forget those matching red Chinese silk skirts my sisters and I all wore or how terrified I was as we de-boarded the plane in the US. (I took a deep breath in and, was so scrawny that my skirt just fell right down! Yes, that really happened. We can laugh at this NOW, but I was mortified that day!)
Now, as I think back over the years, I can really appreciate how much travel has shaped me. Whether traveling to a new nieghborhood or a completely foreign country, I always end up looking at my own life a bit differently when I get home. So, as I'm traveling for a while, I'll still share some colorful thoughts I'm having, but I'm also going to take a break and enjoy myself some good old fashioned vacation time!
Until I'm back with my new ideas, I thought I'd share a few little lessons picked up from other journeys:
Balance is Natural(Vancouver has these amazing rocks that are simply balanced one upon the other by some very talented locals. This is also the inspiration for the Winter Olympics Emblem in Vancouver. The formation is called an inukshuk. As reported on CBSnews.com, an inukshuk is "a carefully balanced pile of unworked rocks and slabs. The Inuit have built them through time to guide travelers...")
Look UP! (Versailles and many historical buildings have the most intricate details on the fifth wall...the ceiling)
Enjoy the colors Sunrise as much as the Sunset. Both can offer inspiration. (My friend Sandy E took this in Zanzibar)
Let Function lead Design. (These dutch apartments still use an age old method when a new tenant moves in. They open up the windows and connect rope and a platform onto the architectural hook at the top of the roof to move belongings in and out of the space through the window.)
Make lots of deposits in the Bank of Patience. You may find that you have to draw upon it often in during a project and in life. (My husband volunteered his time in Haiti a couple of years ago. He found it amazing that in a country with so little, they still made time for patience and laughter.)
There is Perfection in everything--observe the details. It's the details that make anything personal. Perfection is only what you see as being "just right." (This is a sweet treat from my favorite dessert boutique in Paris, La Duree. They have the most amazing ambiance that completes the experience.)
Have a sense of Direction. Set forth some goals and plans in life and design. Both may change along the way, but you need a starting point! (This very funny sign was photographed by my friend Betcy J. in Botswana)
"Home" can be interpreted in many ways. Be open to new ideas of what it can mean to you. (In Amsterdam, boathouses are as common as apartments. I found them to be filled with character.)
Where have you gathered your design, color, or life lessons and what are they?