Is It Really Greener On The Other Side Of The Fence? A Lesson I Learned From My Stay At An Airbnb In France

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Is the grass really greener on the other side? A few days ago, we spent an evening at an in Lyon, France. The place was spacious and cozy, with red walls, huge leather sofas, and vintage pieces mounted here and there. But one thing you’ll notice right away is that the place is full of New York City memorabilia: photos, miniature pieces, books, you name it.

“Wow! You have a piece of New York everywhere!” I told our Airbnb host.

“Yes! I love New York!” He beamed.

I smiled, pretending not to notice that he was also wearing a shirt that said “I ❤️ NY!”

In that moment, I couldn’t help but think of the irony of the situation. I’ve been privileged enough to have parents who took me to different countries, but still, I’ve always dreamt of going to France. When the opportunity was finally ripe, I used my savings just to be on this trip. This was finally it!

But there I was, on my dream vacation to my dream country, talking to our host, a French local. Yet, he finds himself dreaming of being in another city in another country, another place.

I love traveling because I learn valuable life lessons along the journey. Sometimes, we find ourselves wanting to be some place else, have something else, be with someone else.

But we also forget that some people long to be where we are, have what we have, be with who we’re with. This puts things into perspective: a reminder to have a heart that’s grateful and humble.

Robert Fulghum, the author of my favorite book "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten", once said: the grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not at all. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you are.