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Dear Holly,

This post really struck me. I can't thank you enough for these honest, inspiring insights. Once upon a time, I was an aupair in France who binge drank every weekend. The subculture I fell into wasn't the refined epicurean French lifestyle I told myself it was– it was self-destruction; it was shooting myself in the foot. Pastis with lunch, wine with dinner, the Calvados for dessert, cider on weekend, biere at sports games. I don't even like sports! Since giving up alcohol, I've wondered what it'll be like next time I visit France. I love it there, but it'll be a different experience when I'm not drowning in the sauce. After reading your post, I'm more excited than ever to resume travel one day. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this magical feeling!!!

Best wishes,


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It's such an amazing thing, I think, to realize what is opened up to us by the removal of one thing. I wouldn't love Italy the way I do, for certain. I wouldn't even know 90% of what I do about it. Probably 99%. It'll be a thrill; potentially hard, but a thrill.

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