This is a picture of two of my very silly children, clowning with mimes in the park in downtown Queretaro, Mexico. We spent a summer in Mexico, first studying Spanish in San Miguel de Allende, then traveling to other cities. It was as much fun as we’ve ever had together.
I remember my parents saying how much we children grew with every trip we took. My parents loved to travel, and they almost always did so with us (seven of us, eventually) in tow. I have no doubt that our travels broadened our understanding of the world and other people, and I know much of my self-confidence and adaptability came from those experiences. I’ve seen the same outcomes in our children.
Today, as an adult, I find that travel is one of my greatest pleasures. Now all my kids are grown up and on their own, I am looking forward to more. I plan to visit every country that interests me, on every continent. Some of those trips will include my children and grandchildren, so that they, too, can continue to expand their horizons.
Travel allows me to see natural beauty that’s new to me, to walk in cities and towns very different from my own. When I’m traveling in the U.S. and Canada, I understand more about who I am and what makes my two countries great. When I travel abroad, I hear new languages spoken, and become friendly with people whose lives have been unlike mine, but who share a common humanity. I grow in tolerance for different points of view, and different ways of thinking.
I always learn when I travel. Wherever I am, I’m always in tourist mode, hitting all the museums, churches, and historical sites. I love trying new food. Every place I go, I grow as a person. I learn new things, and I have fun. When I travel with my husband, as I often do, our intimacy deepens, because we’re enjoying ourselves together and sharing adventures.
Sometimes traveling is a stretch for me. There are times I’m scared, especially when I’m on my own. There’s always a little frisson of fear as I leave my comfort zone and step off into the unknown. But once I begin, I feel that familiar rush of excitement and anticipation.
I am grateful for this beautiful world in which we live, and I am particularly grateful for every opportunity to be on the road exploring it. Travel is another of the things that makes my life rich and meaningful.