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When my husband and I were in our late 20s, we quit our jobs and moved to Paris. That’s because on our first date, we had discovered that we shared a mutual dream to visit the city and, perhaps, master the language. Rather than try to cram two lifetimes’ worth of Paris dreams into a short vacation, we opted to temporarily halt our careers and spend a few months there. We rented a flat, sight unseen, and then quickly rented a nicer flat after discovering that we’d picked a dive in one of the least desirable neighborhoods in Paris. We enrolled at the Sorbonne to learn French language and civilization, got Metro cards, and visited every museum in town. Each morning, we walked to the local boulangerie to get a fresh baguette or pain au chocolat; many an afternoon was spent lingering over coffee at an outdoor bistro. We didn’t just visit Paris, we experienced Paris.

I thought of our sabbatical when I read this issue’s “How We Travel Now” by Andrew Sessa. He interviewed travel experts to learn about current travel trends such as the family sabbatical, an extended learning vacation for the whole family that can range from a number of months to a year, and, at the other end of the time spectrum, short-but-action-packed jaunts to experience a place in a limited amount of time, such as over a long weekend. It’s interesting to learn about the ways people travel now, and fascinating, too, as in the case of group honeymoons.

I was taken back to Paris as well when I read our feature “Fit Cities”. While I can’t say that Paris circa 1996 was a healthy-food mecca, I can attest to the fact that it was — and still is — a walking city. I literally wore through two pairs of shoes in our four-month visit as we explored the city by foot. Today, healthy options abound, with juice bars popping up next to pâtisseries and vegetarian fare being served at fine-dining establishments. CL found cities around the world that are putting health and fitness at the forefront, and we’ve focused on our 10 favorites in this feature.

Spring is a great time to think about redefining your goals, and we hope you’ll find inspiration on these pages — from learning the latest news on wellness to discovering the benefits of seeing the world from the seat of a bicycle. And though I never did master the French language as planned, I can say — especially with this issue — à votre santé!
Signature of Lori Stacy
Editor In Chief