Tomorrow morning I leave for Bordeaux, France. I’ve never been there. Never been to France at all, and for some reason I am a little more nervous about this trip than any international trip I’ve taken in a while.
I’m going for the third solo exhibit of my Russian photodocumentary, “Russia, Coming of Age.” A couple dear friends are going with me, so I am sure it will be a blast. And it’s not like I’ve never traveled out of the country—this is my third international trip this year alone, and the second new country for the year as well.
I think I’m mildly intimidated by the language. I actually took French in high school and college. So, I should know some, or at least more than I do. But, unfortunately, I remember very little. Every story I’ve ever heard about the French is they tend to be critical of foreigners, and especially Americans, who can’t do much with their language. I am sure it’s not true, or at least no more true than an American’s impatience with visitors here who can’t speak English, but it has me a bit off-kilter.
On the other hand, two events lately have reminded me how very short life can be. In one case a friend of a friend and in another case a family member, but two people have recently have been diagnosed with cancer and within a few weeks been gone or are expected to pass away any day. In just a few weeks they’ve gone from healthy and vital, to gone leaving family and friends struggling to understand what just happened.
Which leads me to my point. I haven’t written much in the last couple weeks as I’ve been home and have just been preparing for upcoming travel and simply taking care of life. Whether travel is your thing, volunteering, painting or whatever, take the time to do it and do it well. Experience life and don’t be afraid to try it. I’ve known too many people over the years who’ve told me they “wanted to try…” but they never got around to it. While I know that is the natural tendency of all of us, I just hate to hear it. I know it represents opportunity lost.
So, assuming I have internet access this next week, I will post my experiences discovering a new place and I’ll let you know if my fears are founded in reality or legend. I hope you take the time to follow along. But, not too much time. Get out and have some of your own experiences while you’re at it.
If you want to practice your French, here is the website for the exhibit: http://cinemarusse.blogspot.com/2010/03/les-evenements-en-cadre-du-festival.html.