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September 7, 2013

Sense Of It All

By Maryanna Gabriel

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." Mark Twain

While vegetating has it's merits, and being still, a much touted spiritual quality, when it comes to travel, I confess, I don't need to do it the hard way. If someone wants to transport my bag, help me figure out where to stay, organize where the regional cuisine is whilst giving me a rundown of the area's history, it is just fine with me. I am going from Provence to Languedoc, through to the Spanish border mostly along the Mediterranean. I had tried once before to get to Southern France when I was twenty, my friend and I got rerouted from the Canary Islands, to the Spanish Sahara then across northern Africa, a surprise even to me, and I was the one doing the travelling. We survived unscathed and saw some amazing country and people as a result and were able to travel a lot longer surpassing even our own expectations. Southern France is to me a peculiar sense of returning to a memory when there shouldn't be one, a calling although no kin lives within, and a sense of the familiar when all is unknown. Alors, it is hard not to be a bit nervous at the onset for perhaps this sense of it all is sheer folly.