Burgundy (part 16: reflection)

It’s been almost a month since we returned from Burgundy. We’ve settled back into our lives in Chicago, adopting most of the routines we had before we left (though we did manage to join a gym and have been good about it so far). The kittens have similarly gotten back to life as usual after a day or so of re-exploring our home.

At the same time, a trip this long should result in some realizations, right? And so it did, in a few ways:

  1. We can replace old routines with new ones. In particular, I stopped being up at dawn to rush into the day and do all the things. If you go through the full series of posts, you find a lot of slow mornings. I’m fortunate enough to work at a place that prizes work/life balance and doesn’t start too early, so I’m making sure to eat breakfast at home before going to work as a way of easing in.
  2. I don’t absolutely need the big city. Staying in a small town makes me value that pace a lot more. This isn’t to say Chicago won’t be home for the foreseeable future (we love our life here and there are family ties), but it’s given us something to consider as we start making more concrete retirement plans.
  3. I’d rather live slowly. With Virginia on the road a lot for work, I thought I would want to fill my days with social activities. But I’ve reconnected with the pleasures of being solo and reading a book outside, hanging out with our kittens, and walking around the neighborhood to get food or coffee. Life now is slower than it was a few months ago, and I want to keep it that way.

The trip also gave us a chance to really go deep into a region. It was rare that we spent more than one hour in the car, and we revisited wineries and villages throughout the month. Without that, I don’t think I could have learned so much more about Burgundian wine and vineyards — we were tasting so frequently that we could start to sense differences across locations that we haven’t before. We also got very comfortable with towns like Beaune by visiting every few days, to the point that I had my preferred parking spots. I have no regrets about not seeing everything Burgundy has to offer because we spent so much time in the places we did visit.

And of course, we have all that wine, which will serve as tangible reminders of the trip for years to come (until we return and restock).

Thanks for reading along. I’ve written this series mostly because I want to make sure I can revisit details in later months and years, but it’s gratifying to know it holds some interest for others as well.

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