Ireland, Paris, and boxes of Kleenex

By Taylor Squires

I once read an article online that talked about not knowing how to count your blessings. Despite being filled with mawkish lines about appreciation and gratitude, the basis of it all struck me pretty hard.

As I read and scrolled through each paragraph, I couldn’t help but reflect upon all of the amazing opportunities that I’ve experienced over the course of my life and how in those particular moments, I did not cherish them as much as I should have.

I read that article before leaving for Sweden so as you can probably guess, while sitting at the airport, I vowed to appreciate absolutely everything for the next six months.

Every trip, assignment, meal, rainy day, even every vendor trying to sell me a fake Louis Vuitton wallet.

And since everything I do is often drenched in dramatics, I made sure to take out a pen and validate my promise by writing it down on the back of a napkin. Very official, I know.

It has now been three months since that day at the airport and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I broke my promise on multiple occasions.

Last week I took a trip to Ireland and then flew into Paris for a few days before coming back to Sweden.

Overall, the trip was incredible. Both places were exactly how I pictured them in my mind and I truly felt as though I saw the best of what each region had to offer. However, towards the end of Ireland, I developed a cold.

My head, sinuses, and throat were all working against me and there was no way I was appreciating that regardless of what I wrote on a napkin three months earlier.

My cold got progressively worse the moment I landed in Paris.

I was extremely irritable and found myself lacking interest in what I was seeing. For example, I took a nap under the Eiffel tower as oppose to actually climbing up it (I really wish I could tell you that I’m kidding but unfortunately, I am not.)

On the flight home, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of regret. I thought about all of the people who would have enjoyed every last ounce of Paris whereas I moped around the Arc de Triomphe with a box of Kleenex in each hand.

It wasn’t until I got home and looked through all of my pictures that I came to the realization that travelling isn’t always about being overjoyed and appreciative at every given moment.

It’s about taking the good with the bad. It’s about experiencing exotics places with whatever state of mind you might be in.

I might have not cherished Paris as much as I should have in that exact moment but if you were to ask me about my trip, I wouldn’t tell you about the amount of times I blew my nose, I would tell you that it was absolutely incredible.

Taylor in front of the Eiffel tower. Photo supplied
Photo supplied
Taylor and friends. Photo supplied
Photo supplied