Joie de Vivre!

I recently attended the GIFTE (Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs) conference in Charlotte, N.C. I learned a ton, both the practical, like the nuts and bolts of running a business, and the more cerebral (aka mindset).  I also danced a lot (it’s a lively bunch)  and met suppliers who offered the most amazing travel experiences. Each conversation ended with an internal, “Yes, please!!”

One supplier, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection showed a beautifully shot video that highlighted it’s ship the S.S Joie de Vivre. I love the name. The ship sails out of Paris and the interior is lush and colorful and everything you image Paris would be.

Translated, joie de vivre means the joy of living. For me, it perfectly describes the experience of traveling. Seeing the world means finding joy in everyday moments, being carefree, and full of life. We travel to experience the joy of living.

Of course, joie de vivre means something different to each person. For some, it’s kicking back on the porch with a beer and a good friend. For others, it’s creating something new, like a painting, a beautiful meal, story, or quilt. Maybe your joie de vivre is running five miles, volunteering, or playing with your kids or grandkids? We all have something that lights us up and fills us with joy, where time flies and the outside world disappears.

Which, strangely, reminded me of airports.

I know, I know, not many people put joy and airport in the same sentence but hear me out.

As I sat in Charlotte waiting for my flight home, I realized airports are full of joie de vivre – the good stuff that makes life worthwhile.

The next time you’re at the airport, look, really look, around, and you’ll find a joyful place. You see it in the excitement before a child’s first flight (especially when Disney is involved), or the nervous couple with brand new, never used passports who, after years of saving, are finally going to see the Eiffel Tower.

It’s in the faces of family and friends who wait clutching welcome signs, flowers, and balloons, straining above the crowd for a first glimpse of the well-loved, but far away sister, cousin, or friend. You’ll hear it in the squeals of delight when Grandma and Grandpa first see and then hold the grandchild they’ve never met, but loved from before they were born. 

Even the goodbyes are sad and beautiful. 

The joy of ordinary and extraordinary moments. It’s the joy in being alive.

It makes life worth living.

Joie de Vivre

Let’s Go!

What does joie de vivre mean to you?

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