Let me just say that as my first post, I don’t expect this to be the best writing that I’ve ever done. In fact, it’ll probably resemble some of my elementary school efforts. But here goes nothing.
I am appalled at the sheer number of people who have never been anywhere. And by anywhere, I don’t necessarily mean out of their home country, I mean out of their home state, sometimes even county, town or city. The more and more people I meet, especially the very career driven, seem to think that taking a vacation is a crime, an abomination, an unforgivable sin. How on earth could anyone ever consider leaving the job for three weeks to have fun or see another part of the world? Sacrilege! It’s interesting because just about every other country in the world besides the United States is allotted 5 weeks or more of paid vacation and their society seems to function just fine, if not a bit better than ours.
Another thing people will say is that they’re waiting for retirement to be able to travel. Well, I will tell you this…..I was on a plane from JFK to Venice, Italy and there was a group of maybe 6 elderly people that were travelling together. I have no doubt that they had a good time on their trip, but they looked absolutely miserable on the plane. I know what a hard time I was having, flying in coach for 8 hours at 28 years old. I couldn’t imagine suffering through it at 68. Let’s be honest, we’re more tolerable when we’re young, have more energy and things like miles and miles of walking or hours and hours of sitting aren’t as hard on us as they are later on in life. So there’s no better time like the present. If you wait, chances are, it’s just not going to happen.
Travel teaches us how other people live. We learn how to get along with others who are different than us. We gain problem solving skills, social skills, appreciation for art, nature and how to be thankful for what we have. There are so many important lessons that I use in my everyday life that I’ve learned on a trip, a vacation, if you will, that I would have never learned sitting in a classroom or behind a desk. These things should be valuable to teachers and employers and they should see them as advantages and not hindrances. If the saying is true that you have to spend money to make money, then it’s also true that you have to spend time to save time.
Travel also makes you interesting. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I would never have a problem conversing in a group of new people. There’s always an experience or story that I can share, most of them having to do with my travels and I hope to be able to share many of them with you here. Who cares about work or what you had for breakfast! I want to hear about where you’ve been, why you were there, who you met and what they were like! I want to hear about the how you got there, the drama and the comedy! Again, none of those stories can come from sitting behind a desk or on your sofa watching the Travel Channel. Go out and make your own Travel Channel, that’s what I say!
Someone recently said to me when I told them that I was going to Ireland, that they would never be able to go to Ireland because they would only stay in castles and it would be too expensive. As if my vacation, were somehow lower on the totem pole because I wasn’t staying in five star hotels. First, who goes to Ireland to stay cooped up in a hotel room, second, stop making excuses, even if you were to stay in castles, it still wouldn’t be that expensive. It’s a common misconception that you have to be rich to be well travelled. Not so. I am definitely not rich 😉 And I’ve stayed in some pretty nice places, thank you very much! Make a budget. Know what you can afford and stick to it! And most of all no more excuses!!!
So, that’s my platform….sort of, I think. 🙂 Telling my stories, what they’ve taught me and things I think you can learn from them. I hope you enjoy reading them just as much as I enjoy telling them!