Once I reached a certain age, I decided to stop dodging the daunting things. I discontinued playing in safe mode and dared to be bolder. I didn’t want to look back at my life and find it full of regrets. It is impossible to live regret free, but with that goal in mind, it does push me to take more chances.
My two day visit to Paris was a perfect example of this. The venture started out exciting with a train trip through the chunnel from London to Paris. For those of you who don’t know, the word chunnel comes from combining the words tunnel and channel, because it was built to take a train through the Channel. http://www.raileurope.com/blog/12355-chunnel-facts-london-paris
On the first day, my husband and I took a tour that toted us around Paris to view the major sites. Part of our tour was on a Seine river boat which gave us a glimpse of some of the city’s famous icons such as the opera house Napoleon attended regularly. When we weren’t on the Seine, our tour group was in a bus looking at other well-known Paris attractions such as the Arc de Triomphe, Louvre Museum, Notre Dame, fountains I don’t know the names of, and the famous Harrods. We of course went up into the Eiffel Tower which was the highlight of my Paris experience.
The second day we were on our own to spend some time at the places we only saw the previous day. My wish was to visit the Louvre. I knew a partial day wouldn’t be enough time to see even a fourth of the whole museum, but I wanted to see the Mona Lisa and other renowned art pieces. The Louvre was closed for maintenance. What are the chances? How often does a place like that close in the middle of the week? I didn’t research this information, and I don’t want to know now unless I plan on returning there.
I took the opportunity to do something that before I would have avoided, because I didn’t speak the language and I’m directionally challenged. Before I met my husband, I would have been too scared and too practical to go for it. Paris rewarded my bravery with a great experience minus the one regret of not seeing the Louvre.
Sometimes jumping out of your comfort zone or going for something you’ve always dreamed of doing rewards you and on occasion you fail. But do you want to look back and ask, “What if?” or do you want to say instead, “at least I tried.” Sometimes you end up saying, “I’m so happy I went for it!” If you reach for something you want whether you succeed or flop, you don’t have to wonder what the end result will be or regret not trying.
Getting my book published seemed impossible, but I didn’t let that deter me, because I remembered my motto, “No regrets”. I wasn’t going to let the stories in my head just stay there. They weren’t going to be closed for maintenance like the Louvre. The truth is you never feel ready to take the leap towards something scary or unknown. You just have to take that first step, leap and breathe. It helps to have people who are supportive surrounding you, but if you don’t have that, they can’t be blamed for you never trying.
Jump on that train to Paris and see where it will take you, and if the Louvre is closed for maintenance, take another dive into the unknown and experience something else.
Side note: Paris also taught me that they weren’t kidding about pick-pockets with all their posted warning signs. I took them serious, but my father-in-law didn’t. He can now cross off his list getting robbed by a gypsy on the subway of things not to do in Paris. I suggest if you go to Paris, ask the experts on how to avoid this. It happens, but it doesn’t have to if you take the target off yourself.