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Thoughts on Travel

Posted on Jan 6, 2014 by in Travel | 6 comments

 

Death Valley National Park, December 2013 

New year, new blog post. Wishing everyone a year filled with all good things.

This morning i reached another blogging milestone – my first vitriolic comment. Pop out the champagne, the blog is not dead!

Kidding aside, the comment was actually fodder for some introspection during my morning dog walk with Jimmy, and not for the reasons you may think.

Our twice daily dog walk is a sacred time, early in the morning before work and late at night before bed. It’s a time for us to set an intention, allow our brains to wake up (or wind down) and reflect on the details of the day.

This morning, we talked about the comment and how it actually provided a litmus test for how travel has changed us over the past two years. We both saw this comment when we were skimming our emails upon awakening and had the same  odd reaction – it made us smile. 

This blog started out as a “wow-this-is-cool-you-should-too” side project and then morphed into a simple repository for the beautiful sights that touched our hearts and the stories that made us laugh. Most recently it entered a period of deliberate radio silence.

Silent not because we have stopped traveling but because our travel has taken on such an intimately personal dimension that we often find ourselves at a loss for words to even begin to describe it to family and friends.

Which is to say that we’ve come to the realization that travel, once it escapes the realm of scheduled vacation or experience separate from our daily lives, becomes intensely personal. 

I was reminded of that recently when we had the chance to plan a day trip to Death Valley National Park a weekend apart from one of our close friends, another avid travel couple. Afterwards we exchanged pictures and commentary by email and what struck me immediately was how we both went to the same place for the same amount of time and ended up having entirely different experiences.

Not good, bad, better or worse, simply different.

Comparing itineraries can be as useful as comparing bank account balances or resumes. It gives us information, but that information is often meaningless.

In the end, the details fade away and we are left with but a fleeting memory of a time and place and the people we shared it with. Whether you stayed at a 5-star hotel or took up digs in a hostel, ate Michelin or street-cart, saw ten attractions or only one, means naught in the end. What is important and enduring is whether that experience made your heart sing, sleep or cry. 

That is what we remember.

As in travel, so in life.

Wishing you all a year of happy, safe travels and experiences that will continue to make your heart sing.

  • artkorapin

    So true and well said. You are very good at writing, I enjoy it though. See you on the road-maybe!

    • Thank you, my fellow-traveler-sister! 🙂

  • vicky

    Nicely said, I felt lucky that I went on those trips which made my heart sing and my mind clear.

  • bluecat

    For almost a year now, I have kept this blog and TravelByPoints on my radar, in case you ever brought it back. It’s always been my contention that a blog or website is easily born, but very very difficult to keep up over a long period of time. The most fun is in the initial creation–the remainder can be dreary. Can you satisfy your long-time readers’ curiousity about what has happened? (I hate to remove these from my RSS feeds until then!)

    In any case, I enjoyed followed you guys. I recently got back from Machu Picchu where I followed a lot of what you advised, so that made me think of you again…..

    • Thank you so much for stopping by again, Bluecat! You are absolutely right – we are long overdue for a new blog post. When I wrote my last entry I had intended to write more regularly but that has obviously not materialized. What to say other than that life has been spectacularly full of unexpected, crazy changes and we’re taking a longer time to process that we expected.

      We are delighted to hear that you were able to make use of some of the observations and advice we had for your Peru trip and hope you had an amazing time! Thank you for being a loyal reader from the beginning – that means so much to both of us.

      Update coming soon! In the meantime, happy travels!

      • bluecat

        Cool. Hope you decide to come back to it but, if not, know that you did help us out with a great trip! Take care. (I wont be checking in anymore so, if you do come back with regularity, maybe consider an email to everyone who ever posted??)