Rich Paxson

Have you ever discovered a new perspective on your life while traveling?

Traveling has always been instructive for me. Dependable shortcuts making daily life easier are gone. What typically are easy tasks at home can become new and sometimes painful jobs on the road. I find that mundane travel difficulties can present fertile environments for innovation. For example, four of us, two couples, took a month-long driving trip in France in 1986 where quickly we had to learn a system for dividing up common costs. When similar occasions arise today, I still use the system we developed so long ago in our gite (house) in Villandry, France.

One of us on that trip, Michele, was born and raised in Angouleme before she emigrated to the U.S. around 1948. Michele interpreted both language and customs for the rest of our group, and we had a lot to learn! For example, early in the trip, we stayed in Tours. One evening, when I tried to shew a dog out of a restaurant, Michele very quickly corrected me, not the dog! French people welcome dogs in their restaurants. Since I love dogs, this French custom was a very pleasant surprise indeed.