If you are thinking about where to go during your next holiday, search no more. France is brimming with picturesque sights which are bound to leave you breathless. I was lucky to visit Canal du Midi where my relatives live, and you will hardly find a better region in this beautiful area. This area stretches from Toulouse to the Mediterranean port of Sète. The moment you reach it, the scenery will fill you with everlasting joy and excitement.

The idyllic region of Canal du Midi boasts some of the most unique and breathtaking landscapes in the world. The canal has clear green waters with many contours which are bordered by numerous trees. Near the canal there are a lot of vineyards, and you can check out a few of them such as the Aude, the Herault and Corbieres. The canal meanders through little villages and fields full of sunflowers. There are many aqueducts and bridges to see. I immediately understood why this place was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 – simply stunning and worthy of preserving for generations to come. If you are visiting it for the first time, you will definitely be amazed by its magnificence. Even some of the old hands can find something new to admire. Every time I go there, there seems to be something new that leaves me absolutely enchanted.

canaldumidi2

how incredible is this?!

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Only an hour into our drive from Banff to Golden and already we have seen a fiery sunset streaking across the sky, filling the valley and beaming an orange beacon on the mountainside. Was I in the Lord of the Rings? And just before that, a black bear graced us with his presence on the side of the road, meandering about on a green hill. He was in no rush. This was his home, his sanctuary, and we were mere visitors to his kingdom. I wanted give him a high five and perhaps engage in a pillow fight with tickles and giggles. In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t participate in a cuddle battle with the bear; getting mauled this early into the trip would have been a bummer.

We kept driving.

Hours later, we arrived in Golden, a small town in a sleepy valley surrounded by imposing mountains. But the GPS lady in all her wisdom told us to keep going. I swore I booked a cabin in Golden. Were we to appear on the local news the next day as one of those hilarious and sad tragedies involving cars driving off the cliffs by GPS command?

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I feel like most people who travel have mixed feelings about “returning home”, or at least back to some sort of normalcy compared to the exciting adventures offered while away. There’s the I’m so excited to see my family and friends and sleep in my own bed!, the I never want to leave this place; how will I survive?!, and I don’t even know how to go back to normal life…, as well as many others I’m sure I missed. These were some feelings I experienced after moving back to the U.S. after five months in Spain. I know for a fact that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

But how are you practically supposed to readjust to a life that used to be familiar but now seems foreign? The foreign has become your familiar, and the world just feels upside-down. A foreign coin falls out of the washer, the people in the street actually speak your native language (this still freaks me out sometimes), and going to the grocery store is a lot more expensive than you remembered. Me? I didn’t want to adjust. Readjusting means going back to how things were before, and I didn’t want that. Travel changes you. The people you met, the places you went, the ways your perspective and priorities changed… Reverting back to my former self wasn’t really an option.

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