Monday, July 19, 2010

Travelly Duex

We're all full up here!

The Chateau Getaway has turned out, day two, as one of the best trips I've ever taken.

Everyone arrived on Saturday night, exhausted after a very long trip.  You ride high for awhile on the lack of sleep and the fumes of France (at first, described as petrol, ciggies and croissants...until you arrive at the chateau and then it's nothing but lavender air and fresh baked bread).  10 women came along this first week, and mom, Kaari and I make it 13.  A really great number to be able to get deep into conversation quickly. 

The first night is always a funny first-night-at-camp thing:  You're about to spend an entire week, night and day, with a group of women you've never met.  You'll be doing things you may never have done before and the level of excitement alone you have for being in France is huge.  Then, the feeling you get  when met by a group of strangers who all have your same love of vintage linens, or crafting with beads, or flea marketing for the best deal, is truly heart-warming.  Many of the women on this trip seemed to breath a sigh of relief as they sat down to a gorgeous outdoor meal:  I'm here, it feels like home.

I've personally never done a group trip.  I never really enjoyed camp, either.  And, if I had my druthers, I would go on vacation with only RK and absolutely no itinerary.  This trip is exactly the opposite.

So, besides me loving the hosting part, I'm so very curious why people do come on these trips.  I decided to ask and the answer, over and over, was the same:  I wanted to go to Europe with people that "get it".  There's a serious camaraderie here and it's completely taken me by surprise.  I'm fully inspired even!

I wonder if men look for it in the same way that women seem to?  The need to be creative, to have an outlet that's not about your kids, your partner, or your job, is a need that should be fulfilled.  Our whole lives, as women, we've been told that a partner will make you whole.  And then kids will make you whole.  And if you're still not satisfied and you need to get out in the world, you take a job, because surely, that will make you whole.  When it really comes down to it, it's the creation, the creative, behind these very things that make us feel more complete.  And when we've lost ourselves to our kids, our partners and our jobs, we find we want something that is solely ours.  It's not a creation of someone else's making (by personality, by opinion, by rules), it's a creation of our own.

Having a group of women around you who, while you breath in the fig trees and the lavender bushes and sit overlooking a field of sunflowers, squeal at your purchase of old notions and madly photograph your find of vintage linen sheets and tell you they once felt the same way you did while you find your way through your life story so far...
well, that's a getaway that gets you right to where you're going.


Christina said...

keep telling us about it! i love picturing you all there and i love this post. can't wait to hear more. xott

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

There is so much good here - I love what you said about creating. No matter what your life's path is, you need to own your own creations and to feel pride in what you yourself are able to do.

Spending time with women who have walked this path and can sort of hold your face in their hands like a baby and say "Oh, I felt this way, you will find your own way" is so reassuring and hopeful. To talk like that under a fig tree, looking at old linen, makes it even more spectacular.

I am grateful to be on this journey with you!

Bluebird Shop said...

OH! I hope you and your family do this next year, Molly. I so want to go!

paige said...

Oh, I love the whole passage in the middle about women. I want to share this with everyone.

I love my husband Arann with all my heart. But I love all women getaways... Always have and always will.

My high school boyfriend broke up with me because I never wanted to miss hanging out with my girl friends and hang out with him.

And creative girl friends are even better.

I would love to follow you around France, or anywhere else in the world. You have a wonderful way of exploring the world and you inspire other people to do the same.

Yay to you hosting. Those are some lucky ladies.