Travel. Anyone who knows me or even just reads my blogs and other stuff is clearly aware that I love to travel. As I write this, I am just outside of Sydney, Australia. By the time I return to the US next week, I expect I'll have explored a little more of this country "down under" with some train trips.
Before I got on a plane for 16 hours (!), I was on the west coast, mostly Oregon since October 1. In June I sailed down the Rhine, Main, and Danube on a river cruise for fifteen days and then, returned to Vienna and eventually ended up in Berlin.
In January I spent several days in Florida and the month of February in Tennessee. Whenever I'm in Boston for any time, I make regular jaunts to New York and I've been to visit my sister in Virginia twice this year.
After Thanksgiving in LA, I'll be driving back to the east coast and I'll spend at least December, January, and February in Boston (with my usual trips to NY).
Why am I listing all these places and telling you about all the miles I've covered just this year?? It's like this ... when I'm away, not only do I get to see fascinating sights and meet interesting people, I discover all sorts of things about me! There is nothing like being plunged into a totally foreign environment to bring out the unexpected. For example,
I've learned that I really like being alone sometimes on a trip and not so much other times. To be a little more specific, I really need to be alone at times and I mostly like
the company of others.
I've learned that a smile goes a long way and even if I'm confused or frustrated, it's worth it to me to muster up a grin. Not a big problem for me (as many of you know), but a good reminder to choose a smile over a scowl (of which I'm also very capable!).
I'm not as "hungry" when I'm traveling. I think adventure fills the hole I confuse for a need for food when I'm in the familiar for too long.
I love history! Seeing it is fascinating especially after reading about it in a book.
I love hotel rooms and guest rooms and new spaces. I'm tickled by their novelty and sometimes quirkiness.
A recent awareness is that I long for a "nest" to which I can return in between destinations. I just haven't figured out where that might be, but I know I'm craving my special space that I can create and decorate and know is waiting for me after however long I'm away.
I'm a little bolder when traveling. It might be because no one "knows" me so I can risk being a little foolish, although the risks always pay off and I end up better for it.
I still don't always pack as well as I'd like, however, I'm getting better at it.
The reason I have more self-reflection and aha moments during travel is because I seem to be better able to pay attention. I think this is because I have to be more mindful. I'm in unfamiliar territory. I might not speak the language well or at all. I'm aware that I really need my wits about me and I also don't want to miss a thing about the experience. I also bring my reawakened consciousness back with me for awhile when I return. Ultimately, a life filled with personal discovery is a beautiful thing. I highly recommend it.