It’s when I wander that I find myself.

No plan, no expectation.

That’s how to do it.  It’s how we did it.

Just my son Henry, husband Nick, and me. Our small family, exploring a new country together in the land of baguettes, cheese, crepes and beauty.

We rode the rails in Paris, and swam in the Mediterranean. We swapped homes with a French family that we never met. We house sat for their cat named Ponpon and took in their mail daily. They tenderly watched our Midwestern home and met our community. Two strange families from across the Atlantic trusting each other and trusting the process.

Perhaps the most fun of it all was swapping cars. We gave them our Subaru, and Nick fearlessly drove around their Duster. These wheels gave us the freedom to explore the Alps, the coast, and the lavender fields. I am proud to say that in 10 days we only visited one museum (Nick had to see the Oceonagraphic Museum in Monaco).

Each day was dedicated to a swimming hole, a beach, a river, a gorge. We basked in the healing waters of the Alps and Mediterranean.

We played, swam, splashed and snorkeled our way through France.

One day as we carelessly explored a national park we ran into a lonely waterfall. No one was there; it was waiting for us. As we basked in the cold mountain water I drank in the bliss of the moment. Time stood still for a few moments and then my son called out my name. “Mom, I dare you to put your whole head under!” And of course, I obliged.  I wandered my body into the cold water.

Wandering lets my mind run free from the to-do lists, the “should” and the rules.

My life is best when I wander.