My favorite travel experience took place in Montmartre, a neighborhood in Paris. It’s charming, village-like, sort of ghetto, and I loved it. It’s a place I’ve dreamed of living in as an artist. It’s also where my favorite movie, Amélie, was filmed. But what made the place special was a beagle. As I exited Sacré-Coeur Basilica, a beagle sitting on a step right outside looked at me for a long time as if she recognized me. The dog looked just like my late beagle Lucky. I never felt such a strong nostalgia. It reminded me of all the things I could have done with my dog, but didn’t. I immediately wished I had brought Lucky with me where ever I went and spent more time with her when she was still alive.
Seeing “Lucky” in Montmartre also reminded me of my intention to live a life untethered. I realized how free I was to pursue whatever I wanted at that moment. After her passing, I finally got the courage to leave my job-and-boss-from-hell and pursue my dreams. What makes a place special to a person is the meaning she attaches to it and this place means a lot to me.