Upon reflection, I experienced two important personal revelations in Paris:
I learned to walk again!
Taking long walks had always been a joy, especially after Parkinson’s-related balance problems forced me to give up my cherished biking. But for the past two years, I’ve been experiencing lower back pain. A doctor who treated me two years ago advised “just walk through the pain.” I didn’t do it. I took pain pills instead and rarely walked more than a couple blocks at a time.
But travel disrupts my routines and encourages me to try new things. On our second day in Paris, I was astounded to find myself spending five hours on a walking tour of the Marais neighborhood. It involved as much sitting and resting as walking, but so what? Since then, I’ve enjoyed long walks on most days. The more I walk, the less pain I experience.
I learned to read books again!
That’s an exaggeration. I’ve always enjoyed reading books, but recently I’ve been spending much more time staring at the computer, and reading my morning Washington Post and the various magazines and newsletters I subscribe to. Again, travel disrupts old patterns and introduces new possibilities.