Reflections from my Trip to Provence

Reflections from my Trip to Provence

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I left on my trip to Provence with the idea in my mind of seeing the lavender fields in bloom.  While I am not sure if I fully realized that particular goal, I gathered so much joy from this trip that I am not sure if I have the right words to summarize it.  Let me try…

Lavender, Cote du Rhone, France

People have been asking me how my trip to Provence was.  The only way that I can really adequately describe my time in France is to tell people that my heart broke the moment that I left, and I haven’t been the same since.

During the trip our plans changed like a river seeking a different course.  This is the nature of the beast that we call “travel”.  Our trip to Provence began in Paris and unexpectedly ended there, too.

We saw some of the things that I had planned for, and we saw other things that were so wondrous that there was no way that I could have planned them.

Garabit Viaduct France
The Garabit Viaduct in the South of France

Seeing the Bastille Day fireworks in Carcassonne, France was the icing on an incredible delicious cake.  It was truly an experience that I will never forget.

Bastille Day Fireworks in Carcsonne France trip to Provence

I think about France wistfully, in stressful moments since I have gotten home.  I love all of France, but the South of France holds a special, reserved box seat in my heart now.

It is all a little bittersweet, though, because while I have no doubt that I will be returning to the south of France again, I know that it will never quite be the same.  This first trip was a magical experience on a level that I don’t think I can hope to be lucky enough to reach again.

Cote du Rhone village trip to Provence trip to Provence

It is like the beginning of a new relationship.  At first, things are fiery and wonderful,  In time, that passion is replaced by a gentle familiarity and a comforting presence.  Both are equally nice, but they are very different.

This is the price of travel, of the addiction.  It seems like the more I travel and see of the world, the less of these “Oh my gosh”, life changing travel experiences I have.  It is harder and harder to keep my perspective when I have been to so many amazing places in the world and have seen so many amazing things.


If you missed any my posts from my trip through the South of France, here is a list of my “Postcards from Provence” and my posts from Bastille Day in France:

Travel in Provence : accommodation, visits and activities


Is there a place that you were sad to leave because it was wonderful and you knew that it would never be the same again?

Shanna Schultz

We are Shanna and Aaron + kiddos. We are a travel addicted family of four who love to escape at every possible opportunity. When we travel, we love to focus on creating meaningful travel experiences that help us all learn about the world together and bring us closer as a family. Shanna also writes about travel in the Midwestern part of the United States at her blog A Midwest Travel Companion

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. I have felt this a couple times during our travels, most notably in China when we hiked the Simatai Great Wall. It was a completely unrestored section of the wall and probably the single most incredible day while traveling. I knew it was only a matter of time until they decided to rebuild it and sure enough about a year later, that’s exactly what they did.

    1. Shanna

      This is the downside of travel. It isn’t easy sometimes to come back. It can be an emotional roller coaster…exquisite highs and extreme lows. It is these extremes that make travelers into addicts…

  2. Natalie

    Ah Paris, one of the greatest cities in the world and I am ashamed to say that I have not been!

    1. Shanna

      Ahhh, you will go someday and I hope that you will love it…it is an amazing city!

  3. Andrea

    I find that I never have the same experience returning to a place – but that doesn’t always mean it’s worse… =)

    1. Shanna

      That is good to know. No, I don’t think any visit to France could ever be “worse”…it is such a beautiful country!

  4. Turtle

    It sounds like you had such a good time. And I think it’s great that you changed your planned path so many times. That’s what travel is all about and there’s nothing worse than being stuck on a particular course when you decide you really want to go a different direction!

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