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2/01/2009

On Travel

I have always felt that travel broadens the mind, informs the soul and strengthens the character. I know that I am a much better person for the places I have been in my life - and the things I have seen. Travels to Viet Nam notwithstanding, the places I have been have all left a mark on me - an indelible impression. Each of them has colored and flavored me in their own and special way.

I remember, at age 14, the long drive across the Western U.S. to California. I remember stopping in a roadside cafe in Chandler, Oklahoma on a hot and dusty day. We walked in as a family and sat in a booth. And the waitress was a Goddess and I was smitten and totally in love. Not for the last time in my life, I had found a place I wanted to stay - this time because of puppy love. Later in life, I would find that this emotion is common when one has picked their vacation spot wisely. After all, the grass IS always greener on the other side of the fence.

I remember my first tour of duty overseas. Okinawa. Japan. The Philippines. Hong Kong. I saw some incredible places. I also saw poverty that would tear your heart out and living conditions which were indescribable. I learned, however, that people everywhere are pretty much the same - that the things which make people 'people' are the same everywhere. We all want the same thing - for our kids to have it better than we do.

I remember a trip to Ireland over Thanksgiving of the year 2000. I remember wondering how people could leave a place so beautiful. I remember, also, that the ground, though lush and green at the top, is rocky and less that fertile below. And I remembered that more than a MILLION Irish died during the potato famine of the middle 1800's and I could feel the anguish in the soul of those poor sods at the memory of the lovely Ireland they had to abandon. Some of them were my people, and I could feel them.

Now I am recently home from yet another trip. I am going to recount some of that trip over the next few days here, in my blog. I don't know what I've learned from this trip, yet, it's too soon to know. But I know it will come to me before long. But something I said to my son as we left Trinidad sticks in my mind - and it's something I would say to all of you: "Travel as much as you can to as many places as you can. Because life is too short not to."

Ndinombethe.

21 comments:

Suzanne said...

Smart boy you've got there. Seems the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree! ;)

Jientje said...

I agree, life is too short not to travel and go places.
You have seen many very different places it seems.
I love Ireland too, especially the people. There's something about them.

Nicole said...

I love traveling :)
And even if it's sometimes only virtual travels via other people's blogs.
;)

Shadow said...

i agree with your comment to your son! travelling is great. being home is great too. looking forward to hearing your thoughts...

M+B said...

Looking forward to hearing all about your trip. Sounds like you had a fabulous time :-)

OHmommy said...

You are right. And I agree.

We are off to Mexico in 12 days w/the kids. My middle child asked if we will see Martha in Mexico. Martha was the orphan on the street we befriended last last year.

Traveling opens your eyes and makes you appreciate the beauty of life.

witchypoo said...

Nice to be amongst the people that are irie.

Tara R. said...

I would love to travel more. There is still so much of the US that I want to see. I feel sad that I have never been anywhere outside of the States.

Bama Cheryl said...

Traveling is amazing and somehow it makes me understand home a bit better each time. We always took our girls out of school (it wasn't completely frowned upon) for a trip because it expands your experiences so much more than just reading about somewhere in a textbook. So glad you had a great time and some special bonding with your son. Welcome home!

Mrs F with 4 said...

I LOVE to travel... but I find it broadens the waistline as well as the mind!

As a child, I moved every twelve months to a different country... and every two years as an adult. I love to travel, but I'm thinking it could be time to grow some roots, wake up in the morning and not wonder where the hell I am?

Jibber Jabber said...

Travelling as a child with my parents was always a learning experience. My favorite trip was visiting Williamsburg, VA and Washington, D.C. There is such much history...when my three (kids) are older you can be sure we'll show them those cities.

I'm excited to read about your trip.

Patsy said...

I understand what you have said so much better than I ever could. It know that each trip have have taken, each adventure I've shared with others has enriched my life and my spirit. They continue to mold and shape me.
I look forward to going to Isreal in Dec. I know I will come home with a new understanding of why things are like they are.

Be blessed, dear friend.

Hyphen Mama said...

I can't wait to take my kids all over the world. Wynnie always asks me "when I'm 12 can we go to..." and then lists a million different places she wants to see.

Ree said...

"Travel as much as you can to as many places as you can. Because life is too short not to."

Yes. Oh, yes.

Eric S. said...

Travel does add a valuable level of knowledge and experiences to a persons awareness. I treasure all my wild and crazy exploits abroad however few they are.

Lady Language said...

It's important to learn about other cultures and as you said, realize people all over the world are just like us. I hope to travel out of the US more with my kids as they get older.

LceeL said...

Suzanne: Yes, he is a smart one. Thank you, for the complement.

Jientje: The Irish are a special group of people, for sure.

Nicole: Traveling is great - and other people's blogs is a great way to travel.

Shadow: Home is where you travel to - having traveled from.

M+B: We did have a fabulous time.

OHmommy: Oh, have fun in Mexico.

Witchypoo: Yes, the are a special breed.

Tara R: Travel somewhere - anywhere. Outside the States is great - but the States themselves are a great travel, as well.

Bama Cheryl: We had SUCH a great time. Thank you, Bama.

Mrs F with 4: The life of a vagabond is very difficult for that very reason - it's the "Where do I belong?" thing that comes with no roots.

Jibber Jabber: It starts tomorrow, Joyce-Anne.

Patsy: Have a good time in Israel. Sholom.

Hyphen Mama: So great that your kids want to travel. So great that you want to take them.

Ree: OMG, I love the way you said that.

Eric S: Do treasure them, learn from them, make more of them.

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

I'm excited to see all you have to share with us. I am banking on a fabu trip with loads of details. Also, St. Augustine said life was a book and if you didn't travel, you only viewed one page.

Momisodes said...

I couldn't agree more with your advice to your son. Traveling does seem to broaden the mind. It's something I hope to offer our daughter for that very reason. I can only imagine some of the things you've seen in your travels. Can't wait to read more of your most recent.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

I agree with that last point. My husband pointed out if you take one trip per year, you *might* see 50 places. And the world is bigger than that. But more than quantity, travel definitely adds quality to your life.

Ashlie- Mommycosm said...

I have always felt that travel broadens the mind, informs the soul and strengthens the character.

I love that and couldn't agree more!

Just catching up with my feeds after traveling home last night. Love the pictures of your trip.