On April 15th, when the Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire, I was shocked and saddened. Having studied Art History in college and spent the greater part of my 20s interning/working in museums, I have a deep love for art, architecture, and history - all things the Notre Dame Cathedral represents. To see an icon damaged in a matter of minutes was really tough to watch. When I was 19 I was lucky enough to travel to Paris for a long weekend with my best friend - we were both studying abroad in London at the time. I can still remember visiting Notre Dame Cathedral - climbing the bell tower, standing in awe of the stained glass windows, and even viewing the cathedral from the Seine. Looking back I feel so lucky to have visited the cathedral - it’s something I never thought wouldn’t be accessible in our lifetime. The fire struck my best friend and I so much that we spent time on the phone that night reminiscing about our time in Paris together.
The Notre Dame Cathedral fire made me realize, even more, how important it is to travel and see the world. I’ve always felt a sense of urgency when it comes to travel, but with age comes responsibility, and I’ve recently had to approach travel with a slower pace. (For reference, when I was in college I went overseas for an extended period of time on 3 separate occasions, which just isn’t possible in my life today.) The fire and subsequent partial/short term loss of an iconic landmark opened the gates for that sense of urgency to return. While it’s important to travel to see iconic landmarks like the Notre Dame Cathedral, travel also teaches us so much more - about ourselves, others, and the world; lessons we can’t learn staying in the same place.
I’ll be following the reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral over the upcoming years, but I’ll also be planning trips and getting out into the world to soak it all in! The fire made me realize how important travel is, and has given me a renewed vigor when it comes to seeing the world.