Travel: What We Leave Behind

The photo above shows my dad and my three-year-old self as I head out on my first adventure — an overnight with my grandparents. It was also my first suitcase, but oh so far from my last.

I’m a get-it-while-you-can traveler with a voracious appetite that never lets go, and I’m blessed to have family members who tolerate it pretty well. The plus side is that I always return filled with light, exuberance, and imagination simply because I’ve put myself in a different environment, lapped it up, and consequently renewed every part of myself.

But how does this happen? What’s so different about being away from home? Well I have a few thoughts about that.

When I travel …

I stare endlessly across the water and feel dolphins set the seas in motion.

I watch the Irish heartbeat ruffle long grasses until they flutter like birds taking flight.

I watch the British with their parade of staid composure topped by delightfully underplayed irony.

I sleep beneath Paris rooftops while breezes from my open windows ruffle white sheets.

I help women in Morocco prepare an evening meal, and startle myself with tastes I never dreamed existed.

I immerse myself in the endless art of Barcelona, her friendliness, and her fabulous dinners that never begin before 10:00 or end before midnight.

BUT most importantly, I take a good long look at myself and gauge how close I am to the woman I was born to be.

Travel may be about work, exploration, renewal, or a new life, but there’s rarely a downside, and there’s always infinite room for growth.

And the truth is that when we travel, we leave so much behind. Anxiety. Exhaustion. Confusion. Petty Stuff. Self-Centeredness. Fear.

Get out there and celebrate the difference. Revel in what you love. Give it everything you’ve got and let it pour endlessly over you like rain on the Irish sea.

May we never stop seeing, never lose our awe and ability to say YES, and never stop being open to the new, whether we find it abroad or at home. Grab what you love, and never let go.

And about those dolphins … it’s true, you know. If you notice the sea dancing raucously and seemingly all on her own, you’re looking at the joy and playfulness of dolphins. Now THEY know how to travel!

9 thoughts on “Travel: What We Leave Behind

  1. Nice photo, great suitcase! Your long list of excursions had me suddenly singing “Round, round, get around, I get around”! Glad that you are able, and do take advantage of the opportunities to recharge and refresh. Thanks for the posts.

    Thanks Elliot!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This just hits the nail right on the head!!! When life gets tough and I am home, I PLAN travel, knowing what pleasure and new experiences it will bring. It is an opening of the heart and mind and lungs!! It renews us. Thanks for this!

    Liked by 2 people

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