The first time I stepped off a plane as a first-time international traveler the colorful scenery, smells, sounds and the muggy heat played tag in my mind. It wasn’t sensory overload, but rather a sensory feast. Jamaica welcomed me with open arms, a crystal clear sea, and humidity best described as a sack of wet mice in the face.
If ever I thought I was not a curious creature, my life as a traveler is a testament to my willingness to try…new foods, drinks, living spaces, languages, music, art, religion and cultural practices. I have no doubt that I am a different person than I would have been had I never traveled. I vouch for my travel-taught life lessons.
Opportunities to travel to other countries are permission slips in living, breathing color. I learned to park my US citizen persona in my hotel room. Traveling for me is the ultimate expression of “living in the moment”, to Be Here Now.
Travel is expensive and is money well spent. A $1000 sofa will not give me a full lifetime of joy in the way that a trip to Italy, Kenya or Jamaica already has. Every country, every adventure has a currency of its own saved in my heart and soul.
I traveled with a treasured school-days friend to Italy in May. We challenged ourselves to hike the Path of the Gods, to explore Mt. Vesuvius, to not count calories and to get lost and found in Naples. We laughed until–well, we’re still laughing. As the trip came to an end we started planning our next adventure. We think it will be Sicily in the springtime or fall. We plan, we save our pennies, we reminisce and we look forward.