When you travel do you ever pay attention to the energy of a place? Do you notice feeling better in some locations over others? Have the feeling of Deja vu in a place you’ve never been? Or been repelled by some place for no obvious reason?
For many years those questions did not come up for me. But as I have learned that all of life is energy and some energy resonates with us and some, not so much. I have started to notice how a place makes me feel. One example is Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I visited there a few years ago with my sister and niece. Perhaps it was the heat and humidity but I did not find anything about that place enjoyable. I was as prickly as the heat and so was everyone around me. I did not resonate with this energy and normally I love cities on the water.
On my recent trip back to the UK, Diana and I visited Oxford again. On our bus trip last year we felt that we didn’t get to spend enough time exploring so this year we took the train and our own self-guided tour. I love Oxford. Maybe it’s all the history, all that knowledge wrapped up in those stone walls. Or, the fact that the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland played on the banks of the River Cherwell. Diana and I took one of the boat tours guided by a Punter, which is basically the same as a gondolier but without the singing. Floating down the river past the Botanical gardens just felt right. I was relaxed and happy. I feel good in Oxford.
London feels good to me also. Paris, not so much. I had always been more intrigued by Paris. I have dreamed I was a writer in the Palace of Versailles long before I ever saw photos or stepped inside its walls. I have dreamed in French and in one dream I sang the French National Anthem standing in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. So, it took me by surprise when I arrived in Paris and didn’t feel any connection to it. I was disappointed by my response. I give credit to the fact that I only spent 4 days there and perhaps it wasn’t enough time to give it a fair shake. But, frankly, I found its hype as “the most beautiful and romantic city in the world” overrated. There were things I liked about it but overall I found it a tough city to navigate. I felt that I went to Paris with love in my heart and it spat on me. Literally. Twice.
One of the things I liked about London over Paris is that you can see the history through the architecture. In Paris in the 1840’s each arrondissement was taken to the ground and all rebuilt in the same stone, with the same iron work and the same wide avenues. Paris is built in a circular fashion and each neighborhood is like a wheel with a park in the center and the streets coming off it like spokes. We just walked in circles until we figured that out. From the Eiffel Tower Paris is the beigest city I have ever seen. You can tell the residential neighborhoods by their ironwork and colorful doors, the churches by their spires and the government buildings by all the gold leaf otherwise it all looks the same.
London, on the other hand is far more colorful and diverse. I get bored with beige and, did you know, that beige is the color of repressed anger? No wonder the Parisiennes are so cranky! haha.
I find it very interesting to notice these things. And, as I pay attention to the energy around me, I realize I can manipulate my own energy by putting it in places that resonate with me. I do plan to visit Paris again when I can spend some leisurely time there. But it will be hard for me to tear myself away from going back to London. After we spent a few days in Brugge and Amsterdam and it was time to take the train back to the UK, I told Diana, I feel like I am going “home” to London.