When I’m looking for travel inspiration I usually begin with Google. My search starts with a generic topic, for example “beautiful villages in France” and then it’s off to the races. It’s pretty easy for me to fall down a rabbit hole and lose myself in research. Thanks to the magic of the internet, new trip/travel ideas are never more than a few mouse clicks away.
Add it to the list
I’ve already told you about the enchanting village of Saint Émilion, but have you heard of Colmar? This is a place that continues to pop up on travel lists, and its not hard to see why.
It’s a lovely little town in the Grand Est region of northeastern France located in Alsace. You can find it nestled along the Rhine River near the borders of Germany and Switzerland. Pretty vineyards line the roads into the centre-ville which features a number of attractive half-timbered medieval buildings. On a sunny day it’s fun to sip on locally-produced Rieslings and Gewürztraminers and watch people wandering the square.
Needing a break
We made the trip to Colmar when we lived in Paris. I remember that the weather in the City of Light was garbage and we both felt overwhelmed with life. Why the stress? Because we’d approached a milestone anniversary of my husband’s French work contract, and it had a negative affect on our moods.
Looking back, I’m not sure why we felt this way but I had an idea. When expats reflect on how long they’ve been away it’s easier to count in days, weeks or months, not years. So having to say, “We’ve been away from Canada for (insert number of years)” is a difficult sentence to own. Since we both felt the blues we decided to leave our worries behind and switch up our surroundings.
One night in Colmar
Getting to Colmar was a fast two hour train ride which made for an ideal weekend getaway. We stayed only one night at an adorable bed & breakfast and had dinner at La Fleur de Sel. Usually, we like to extend our holidays a bit longer but in this situation one night was all we needed. Leaving the busy capital city for a few days was a great distraction from how we were feeling. It also gave us the opportunity to disconnect and recharge the batteries. The slower pace, smaller crowds and generous glasses of wine helped us to relax and enjoy the break.
As expats, if you and your spouse feel overwhelmed or stressed, look at easy ways to shake up your environment. Spending one or two nights in a new location is sometimes all it takes to change your perspective or attitude. Don’t forget to take care and work together to get past the negative thoughts, however you need to do it.