And so it began.

I was three years old when I first flew in an airplane. Our August vacation in Royan was not complete without several rides on “les avions et les bateaux,” my all-time favorite carousel. The anticipation of possibly grabbing the ball’s pompon and earning a free ride only added to my exuberance.

It has to be my first moment parfait.

I have logged many, many flying miles over the past forty years. As the founder of Joie de Vivre, I had the opportunity (and the sweet obligation…) to keep one foot firmly planted in my native land and the other in my adopted country. With two different cultures colliding in my heart and in my mind, I questioned the certainties of my youth. Distance ­–and absence– gave me a deeper appreciation of past experiences and future possibilities. Most of all, it forced me to live in the present.

In Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams exhorts his students to seize the day and make their lives extraordinary. I believe we all have the power to infuse ordinary moments with extraordinary meaning. In the end, it’s all about the little things and embracing your emotions: surprise, longing, hope, bliss, even sadness. And humor, a lot of it.

Come fly with me; I’ll share my perfect moments with you.

Sylvaine Lang