Beaches, Cities, and Common Bonds

In a 2012 interview published in Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, two quotes from then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stayed with me:

1) “I think every time Americans go abroad, they are representing their country, whether they choose to or not. And it matters.”

2)“I think where there has been more travel, there is greater understanding,” says Clinton. “There may not be agreement—we may still believe that the political system of another country is wrong or the way women are treated is not acceptable—but we get closer to seeing the world through somebody else’s eyes, and I really believe that’s an essential step not only for diplomats and other government officials but for business people and for American citizens, because it helps us get perspective. It’s also reinforcing that, despite the differences, there are fundamental human similarities. We cry over tragedies, we yearn for freedom, we want our dignity respected. So I think travel is both broadening and opening.”

So true!

For the first half of our trip, we toured through the Languedoc region in the south of France. Similar to New Jersey, the French coastal towns feature a few real estate offices, a version of “Hoy’s”, and  marinas for boaters. And, each has its own personality and loyal following (sound familiar?)  Inland, vineyards and mountains create a beautiful back drop for the charming villages. Oh, and golf courses for my husband!

The second half of our trip was spent in Paris.  A “wow” view at every turn: amazing architecture and sites.  Navigating the metro system was a HUGE accomplishment (hey, we live on a small island with numbered streets!)

Overall, people were genuinely friendly and helpful- often working through the language barrier with humor.  Also noticed that the French are low talkers (Seinfeld episode) – no one sharing their cell phone conversations with the immediate world!  Adds to their air of elegance.

Now to bore you with a few pictures 🙂







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