I am well aware that it is in my nature to be in a constant state of anxiousness (a more accurate description would be kanchiong) without really being able to relax. Be it when I’m traveling or my daily life in Singapore. I did, however, manage to experience 3 relaxing trips so far which made me fall in love with traveling and diving all over again.
The first time was aboard a live-on-board around Similans Island when there was absolutely nothing to do in between dives but to relax. The second, when I was backpacking Laos and the third, diving at Sipadan. All of which, I returned home feeling well rested and relaxed despite not achieving much (what the hell was I expecting to achieve?). If you realized, mainly due to the lack of possible activities.
Yet now in France, I once again find myself anxious and over eager to cover as much ground as I possibly can. And now as I lie in bed feeling unwell from an earlier drink of horrible cider, I realized that all these long hours of walking in the cold and early mornings are actually wearing me (and my Toms) out and LF doesn’t seem to be enjoying this trip as much as I would like him too. Surprise surprise, the highlights of my trip thus far weren’t derived from any major sights we visited.
Instead, this morning at Dinan, I found myself very much excited having randomly walked into a local cafe where even the policemen were having coffee there. It was a tiny place without a menu and the owner seemed to know almost all her patrons. While LF sulked over coffee about having to wake up at 6.30am, I took in the surroundings observing the older men having a cup of coffee/wine as they read their papers. Eavesdropped a little on the women gathered beside my table gossiping. Watched the owner greet patrons who had just stepped in with their cute wooden baskets filled with bread and vegetables. All while trying to figure out the cost of each item I had ordered (still no idea).
After which I had a great time walking around the market stalking people with wooden marketing baskets trying to see what they had bought, enjoying the awesome smell of various food, being amazed at the items sold and feeling nauseous seeing an entire roasted pig (rather huge, head, TEETH and all intact) being mutilated based on the parts demanded by patrons.
It was then, actually about 30 minutes ago, that I realized these are the experiences that I’m looking for. Not the major sights nor any museums. My favorite experiences from this trip thus far weren’t about the sights. Though I do enjoy long walks, especially by the sea.
My point being, despite having only one more week in France, I WILL make a conscious effort to slow my pace down and attempt to relax. Meanwhile, I will continue to dream about the day when I can finally travel with time/leave constraints.
Ending with a photo of a typical wooden basket I came across (while stalking random strangers) this morning.