Finding an Orchestra in the Middle of Paris
In May 2014, Ben, his aunt Jacque, and I all set off on a two week trip to Europe. This trip encompassed Norway (Oslo and Drammen) and France (Paris and Bordeaux). We packed in as much as we could on this trip because we weren't sure when we'd be able to get overseas again.
The trip went by quickly ... so quickly that before we knew it, we were dropping off our luggage at the train station in order to spend the last few hours we could in Paris before our flight back to Norway (and from there, the United States).
Our hearts were full, our legs were tired, and our wallets were empty. We weren't sure where to go, especially since we'd used up almost all our rail tickets and didn't have much money to use for other public transportation.
We brought a couple fresh pastries to munch on and stuck to walking around the Louvre—an area we knew pretty well, just to make sure we wouldn't get lost in our final Parisian hours (something we'd done several times before).
As we approached the Louvre, we stumbled across a nameless orchestra playing lively music in front of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, the smallest of the three famous arches in Paris. It caught us off guard and made us stop—stop and take in the sudden and unexpected sight of a full orchestra playing music for the public.
We loved it. While we only managed to catch the last song they played, it made us realize that if we didn't stop to take in the small things when traveling, if we didn't stop rushing around to fit everything in, we'd miss out on some really cool, really private moments. And those are the moments that create the memories we carry with us.
Even though it's been a year and a half since we left France, this memory still lives with us. We still remember the music, the gentle breeze, the laughter and smiles on the faces of those who took the time to stop and listen...and live.
These are the moments we seek when traveling.