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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Reentry & Contemplation

I hope was that my 10 days of Ethiopian travel stories were enjoyable entertainment for you. I also plan to finish that trip with a few more stories from Lalibela and Axum, Ethiopia, 🇪🇹 and then the four days in the United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪. I learned first hand about caste based on my hostess offering her driver to me for a few days and how we had to travel, and then and eat…separately.


I’m home now and flying into my “normal” world like an astronaut entering the Earth’s atmosphere. It takes a bit of work—physically and emotionally. For three weeks, my days swirled around travel, visiting, and breathing in the new surroundings. I was on a travel high for most of it - from Paris to Nîmes to the hamlets of the Cevennes. Paris was non-stop action of touring the famous (and a few not so well-known) sites many love and know — the Louvre, Musee d’ Orsay, Eiffel Tower, Normandy (not in Paris, but the tour met near the Eiffel), the Seine River, Latin Quarter, The Basilica of Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre, and Notre Dame (still under construction until the end of the year), and many more sites.

And…shopping, mostly window shopping at the plethora of anything and everything in the City of Light and Love. Oh, and those delicious croissants every morning with a cup of tea. Vive la France 🇫🇷!

Frankly, it was lights, camera, action while marching around Paris for one solid week that garnered practically 20,000 steps each day! I loved every minute of it, too.

In the next couple of weeks, I plan to unpack my memories of my travels abroad. However, on the last day in France, alone in my Airbnb before the big journey day home, I wrote a reflection called Contemplation.

Capturing my handwritten journal entry dated 5/17/2024 - Paris

I’m eating breakfast—a cup of fragrant tea and a red apple—in a small, well-appointed, clean, chic Airbnb near the Charles De Gaulle Airport. I’m basically all packed up and ready to go.

But it’s that Contemplation about the magical trip I embarked on a day shy of a three-week journey: first with Linda Misencik in Paris, then four days in Nîmes (with a side trip to Avignon with fellow writer, Katy Dalgleish), and then the last week at the retreat for 15 writers at the St. Felix de Pallieres Chateau in the Cevennes.

I’m still pinching myself on the beauty - the magic - the brilliance with 15 strong minds, writers mostly, who, like me, feel strongly about the Earth and its people and write about them across all genres and platforms available. Wow! I feel blessed to be a part of the Cevennes retreat two years in a row.

While I write in this journal, I see blank pages (oh, sure, I wrote the date at the top of each set of pages) and am now contemplating why I haven’t written in them yet. However , I do know, though. It’s because I was immersed in the outstanding surroundings and the people in it. I didn’t want to miss a thing. I know I’ll catch up with the stories, but I decided not to write about them while they were unfolding.

I thoroughly savored the many big and micro-moments every single day.

Travel is a blessing, including going around the block or internationally—it doesn’t matter. I consciously think about my breathing—calm while I write this—my goodbye to France 2024!

I’m home. It’s great to be back in the saddle again.




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