The Journey Is the Destination

The journey is the destination… The journey is the destination… The journey is the destination…

These are the five words that got me through the day, the first day and on the second and on the third. It all started after our grand departure from home. The camper and us all packed up and ready to go. Lots of expectations, lots of road ahead… didn’t get us very far.

We got a late start on Wednesday because I had a 12 noon appointment with my publisher. We decided to ride only 3 hours and stop overnight to visit our friends, Lorenzo and Jessica and their 4 kids (2 his, 2 hers… a mini Brady Bunch). No rush. The journey is the destination, of course.

So we enjoyed the healthy, vegan dinner they prepared for us, casual conversation about their book projects and ours, kids, schooling, vaccinations… and travel. After dinner the kids played in another room leaving us to enjoy the soft melody playing from the laptop and the wood-oven stove warming us all.  A nice, relaxed start. No rush. The journey is the destination, right?

The next morning we woke up to lots of fog which turned into grey skies which turned into rain. A good day for driving, we all thought. However, lots of expectations and lots of road ahead didn’t get us very far. The water pump of our camper wasn’t workng. Before heading towards foreign land we would need to get it fixed, One call led to the next and another and another and another… 11am became 1:30pm which became 3pm. The journey is the destination playing in my head like a mantra saving me from disappointment and preserving my sense of joy and gratitude on Day 2 despite my bloated body, my clogged up, aching head and stuffed up nose (artificial air can do this to the healthiest of bodies even after just a half a day. Anyone who travels knows this!). By 5:30pm we were at the mechanic, my girls and I drinking hot chocolate from a vending machine in a tiny, artificially heated, waiting room while Andrea looked at campers. Kenia and I flipped through fashion magazines, while Havi colored, chatted away and finished up her second sugary fix. By the time, Giuseppe was finished replacing the pump, we were all tired, in need of comfort food and 250 euros lighter than the day before.

The journey is the destination – I am still convinced of this…  sometimes it takes you to exciting, far away places… and other times it leaves you standing still… bloated, clogged, aching, stuffed and with less cash in your wallet than you expected!

Before closing my notebook that night, I went to bed with another favorite ‘mantra’ running through my head – only 3 words –

‘It’s all good!

That night, I closed my eyes thinking that tomorrow is another beautiful day!

with love and gratitude!

 

 

PS: As the saying goes, ‘when it rains it pours’!

Day number 4 and it was still raining, outside… and inside the bathroom of our camper! We had already been stuck inside… all 4 of us… for 3 days. France gave us a 2 hour break to visit Avignon under clouded skies and pushing against strong winds. The benches at the riverside were inaccessible from heavy rains and the floods, but it could have been worse… we could have been in Paris!

As the headlines indicated:

French floods: Seine river reaches peak in flood-hit Paris

The forecast for the next days wasn’t much better. So, we decided to chase after the sunshine and more mild climates…  moving prematurely on to Spain…. Barcellona…

Adieu dreary skies, overpriced coffee and expensive highways!

 

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