January 2015

Growing up, I always loved books and poetry. My favorite day of the week was Saturday when my mom would take me to the local library. I wanted to read every book. Looking back I believe my love for books was actually a love for adventure and travel. The furthest we traveled as a family was “over the hill to grandma’s house we go.”   

When I was in college, whenever someone said, “Do you want to go?” I didn’t ask “Where?” I just replied, “When are we leaving? Will it be hot or cold?” I can relate to this quote by Robert Louis Stevenson, "For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move."

Even now, if I haven’t traveled in a few months, I begin to get that itch to just go.  My daughter introduced me to an app  called “BEEN.”  I had  fun checking off where I had “been” in the USA and then in the world.  After looking at the U.S. map, I added to my bucket list eleven states where I had not “been.”  Though I thought I was a bit of a world traveler, looking at my “BEEN” app, I realized there was so much I had not experienced.   

I am fortunate that I married a guy who also loves adventure and new experiences in new places.  After two years of marriage we teased about the low balance in our bank account, but bragged about the amazing pictures from Hawaii, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, London, San Francisco, New York City…

Looking back, 2014 was a great year of travel for me, more than I ever dreamed as 2013 came to a close. We spent Valentine’s weekend in St. Thomas (not on a cruise, but actually land locked) and then enjoyed an incentive trip to Hawaii with my husband’s company in April with the awards dinner at Pearl Harbor (loved the Missouri). With a daughter living in Australia, I decided to journey down under to spend two weeks with her prior to traveling to Honolulu to meet my hubby. The beaches in Sydney are just indescribably beautiful – so different from our West or East coast beaches. There’s an awesome path that allows you to walk the two miles past four of their best beaches.

Summer is one of our favorite family travel times and 2014 wasn’t any exception. We decided to retrace our honeymoon, but this time with our two adult children. Starting in San Francisco, we loved the jacket weather of July, followed by a drive to the majestic vistas of Yosemite and ending with a few days at  Carmel by the Sea (if you haven’t been it’s a must do, especially for the romantics). We wrapped up our year of travel by celebrating New Year’s Eve in Nashville.  What a blast! The Omni is fantastic and the city pulsates with life and laughter and joy. Standing in the middle of Broadway with my whole family along with over 100,000 plus cheerful people and Lady Antebellum’s beat in the background was just the perfect way to welcome 2015. Of course, when the crowd broke out into singing Amazing Grace after finishing Old Lang Syne, I knew I was in the South.

I travel and love to help others  travel because I believe the memories created from these experiences with friends and family are far more valuable than any gift that can be wrapped and decorated with the most beautiful bow. For me, travel not only introduces me to new sights and sounds, but enlightens me to new cultures and peoples. There is a French proverb that makes us appreciate simply being able to travel at all: "Who goes and returns makes a good journey." I am blessed to have had many a “good journey” for the past three decades. Looking forward to the next one!