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For much of the last decade, Amy and I have spent the month of July at our house in Homer, Alaska. Amy grew up in Alaska and I have a great love of the place. We’ve built one month away each year in a different location into our annual rhythm which we’ve come to treasure as a key part of our lives.
We are trying something different this year. Instead of going to Homer, we’ve rented an apartment in Paris for the month of July. We are in the 8th Arrondissement near the Arc de Triomphe on the top floor of a wonderful building.
We’ve spent a month together in Paris twice in our life – once in the 6th and once in the 7th. We had an amazing time on each trip. I’ve concluded that in another life Amy thinks she is Parisian – she dresses like French woman, she speaks French wonderfully, and she loves French food. I, on the other hand, play the role of the ugly American in jeans and running shoes, but I always overpay for things and smile a lot so it works out.
Every year when we head to Alaska, many people who don’t know us that well say “have a great vacation.” Our closer friends and work colleagues know that, while the tempo of our life changes, we are both working as much as we usually do. We just have zero travel, 24 hours a day together, and a very different approach to scheduling stuff (e.g. much less schedule; much more fluidity). Our plan this month for Paris is the same.
I’ve found that my time in July is a combination of refresh / renewal – as I’m often tired from the intensity of the first half of the year – combined with extra focus on a specific project. Last year it was finishing up Do More Faster. While David Cohen and I had been working on the book since the beginning of the year, we really pushed to get it done in July last year. This year Amy and I are starting a new project which I’ll be blogging about in the next day or two.
As Amy continues to sleep off the travel, I’m enjoying an early morning cup of coffee and a beautiful view as I ponder whether to get an Orange or SFR SIM card.