Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Passion à la Française

Pas·sion : any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love.


I can clearly remember when I first understood the meaning of the word passion. I'm not talking the intense love of another person, but of what was to become a love affair with a country that has spanned decades.


As eight year old students we were tasked with a homework project of creating a menu for a restaurant of our choice. While other kids were lovingly calligraphing pieces of card with chicken chow mein and bolognese, I created a pop-up french restaurant complete with waiter and red, white and blue awning. The 'restaurant' when opened revealed a menu in French. I admit my mother helped me with the translations (cheat alert!) but the rest was all mine.


My father had months before been touring Europe on a wine research tour. Sounds so glamourous eh? Actually, he's an accountant, but happened to work for a university that was setting up a winery science course, and knew someone who knew someone.... Anyway, he was the first in our family to travel overseas and I was totally fascinated by the whole ordeal. Yet for some reason, his snippets of France were the ones that grabbed me and I floated away with the stories. I started reading my mum's school old French dictionary, decorated my room with craft paper Eiffel towers and dreamed obsessively about visiting Paris.

When I did finally visit the City of Light for the very first time it did not disappoint. I was absolutely smitten wandering the back streets of this magical city. I loved every moment of that three day stay. The smell of hot buttery pastry in the early morning, the sound of the language, the look of the people, the taste of the strawberries, the feeling of being immersed in a place I had been dreaming of for so long.


That visit was over fifteen years ago now. Through my love of France I've had some amazing experiences; designing for a French company, doing avalanche training in the Pyrenees, crawling cellars while lost in Champagne, and crashing papal parties in Avignon. I now scrimp and save, and organise my life so I can spend at least a couple of weeks France every year in France if I can.



So thank you dad and mum for sparking a defining moment in my life where true passion was ignited. Je t'aime.

What about you? Do you have an ongoing love affair with another country?

8 comments:

  1. How lovely to spend a month in France every year!

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    1. It's so worth the compromises during the rest of the year. I'm also lucky I have a friend with whom I can stay, making it so much more affordable. But yes, I realise how lucky I am.

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  2. I'm inspired simply by the idea of making a vacation a priority - well done!

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    1. Omgtmi, holidays are so important to refresh and get distance from the daily grind. Even something simple like a day in nature can refresh us so much. I tend to save up all my holidays for the bid bang trip - otherwise I try to grab an hour a week at least to unwind.

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  3. Lovely post and photos!
    I've been fortunate to travel to many countries, but my passion is for the Big Island of Hawaii and it's dramatic volcanic landscape...I keep painting about it! :)

    Wishing you all the best,
    Mary (from BYW Bootcamp)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mary, I love Hawaii! I have been a couple of times and would love to return again. I love that you're painting it. What else do you paint?

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  4. Hi Karina! What a lovely story, and as you know I can totally relate to you. I had a love affair with the country long before meeting my husband, this kind of pull. Do you have a favourite part of France? Mel x P.S Dad's are great aren't they?

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  5. Hi Karina! What a lovely story, and as you know I can totally relate to you. I had a love affair with the country long before meeting my husband, this kind of pull. Do you have a favourite part of France? Mel x P.S Dad's are great aren't they?

    ReplyDelete

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