“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”
Some things are meant to be savored. Last summer, I traveled with two very close friends to France. Our trip lasted two weeks. In those two weeks, we explored many places in Provence. By far, my favorite place visited was Arles. It is so difficult to describe, but something special happened to me while traveling to and in the city of Arles.
On our way into the city, we stopped in Saint-Remy-de-Provence. There we toured St. Paul de Mausole. This was the asylum where Van Gogh created many of his famous works. Throughout our tour of the area, it was as if I could feel Van Gogh. I sensed this most when entering his room in the hospital.
When I walked out into the garden and looked back at the window of Van Gogh’s room, I was flooded with emotion. I was absolutely moved to tears while standing there taking in the gorgeous sunflowers.
Our next stop, on the way to Arles was Carrières de Lumières at Les Baux de Provence. It was absolutely astounding to watch works of art being projected on the walls of what once was a limestone quarry.
From there, we went to the city of Arles. I was absolutely thrilled to discover that Les Rencontres de la photographie, a photography festival, was taking place in Arles at the time of our visit. I immediately noticed the work of William Wegman on the banners of the festival.
I was introduced to William Wegman’s books in the elementary school classroom. William Wegman has written and illustrated many delightful books for children. Everywhere you looked throughout the city, you could find his work on advertising materials for the festival.
A highlight of my trip was getting the opportunity to enjoy William Wegman’s exhibit at the festival. It is so much more powerful to view his art large on the gallery wall than it is to appreciate his art in books.
Photography festival aside, I found Arles to be a feast for the eyes and the camera. Things were just waiting to be discovered at every turn.
Although my time traveling to and in Arles lasted less than two days, its impact on my heart was incredible. I have savored these memories now for almost a year. I am thankful for my friends who shared this experience with me. I am grateful for a family that encourages me to explore and wander. I appreciate the opportunity to share with you!
As a younger person, I did not make travel a priority. I regret those lost years and opportunities. I am so thankful for all of the places I have been able to discover in this part of my life!
I am looking forward to another summer of exploration!