One o'clock in the morning is not the ideal time for me to start a new project, try to gain traction, or build initiative; so really, I was just looking for a distraction. While perusing Facebook (what better place for distraction!), I noticed that a friend had checked into a nearby coffee shop several hours before. I smiled to see in the comments, she noted that she hadn’t actually been there, but just wished she had, and how she thought it was funny that Facebook let you check into places without actually having to be there. Two posts down from that, another friend was reminiscing about her time spent in France, and how she loved the fact that she could still see her old neighborhood using Google maps.
I perked up as inspiration hit. This was what I needed – to get out of this space, to take a trip, to get a new perspective. Right now.
I was going to Europe.
The beauty of the Internet age and the imagination is that just about anything is possible. I started Googling places I’d like to visit and looking for local coffee shops. I started with Paris and “checked in” to a popular tourist spot called Les Duex Magots. For fun, I started an online album and copied generic pictures from the net of the café, of a lovely tea set up, and even a cute black and white of a supposed new friend – Marthe – that I’d made while visiting. I planned out a few more spots, did some research, and crawled into bed with my spirits lifted from my creative endeavors.
Imagine my surprise in the morning when I logged on to Facebook again and saw comments from friends expressing amazement about my “sudden trip to France” and how excited they were for me. Surely they were kidding. Everyone knew that we were broke, and seriously – they thought I’d disappeared overnight and was suddenly in Paris? I shrugged it off and continued with my online adventure; researching more cities; checking in to new destination cafés; adding photos; and commenting about my adventures.
To my astonishment and delight, friends continued to comment on my journey – some still thinking I was actually away on a whirlwind escapade, others figuring out what I was up to and playing along by “joining me” in different cities. By the time the weekend was over, I had been to cafes Paris, Florence, London, Prague, and a castle in Liechtenstein.
While my weekend journey will never measure up to the real deal, that creative expedition was just what I needed in that moment to jolt myself out of the doldrums and gain a new perspective. And finding pictures of the cathedrals and holy labyrinths I longed to visit only reminded me that I didn’t have to go overseas to find a quiet, meditative place to commune with God to refresh my spirit.
I'm linking up with Crystal Stine and company for the first time today; joining the Behind the Scenes link up. A place to make a connection beyond the Pinterest perfect ideals; to look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it; to say hi, this is me in all my messy real-ness. Sounds like a good time to me.