I recently traveled with someone I’ve known for over 40 years. Defining “known” is the key element to this story.
Known in this story means being aware of; mingling with and sharing some past experiences. Known means being part of a circle of friends, albeit on the fringe. It is a superficial “known”, as in entering a room and having someone familiar to talk with.
I thought I could do it. I thought I could travel with this person and we’d have a compatible and comfortable mutual enjoyment of the trip.
I have always been a very adaptable person; easy going and acceptable of most new things. What I discovered about my 62 year old self is that I’m NOT content going with the flow just to get along anymore; I have given myself permission to put myself first. This evolution of self has come with expectations that I didn’t have when I was 21. With expectations come potential disappointment.
My travel companion planned and booked the trip. My travel companion was older than I and physically less mobile. My travel companion looked for the least expensive options in everything(which normally is a good trait but when traveling I prefer to spend a little more to enjoy myself). My travel companion had no passion to explore the beautiful surroundings we had traveled to. I ventured out on my own on a daily basis but still felt tethered to the travel companion I left at poolside. I didn’t have the freedom or control to follow my own itinerary.
I thought I could travel with just about anyone and find a way to enjoy myself. What I found is that I’m too old to compromise. I expect and deserve to give myself the travel experience I want.
I am planning another trip with a different friend that I’ve known for over 40 years; this time we are sharing the planning and shaping of the itinerary. Ever optimistic, I think I can do it.
Today will take me 115 miles west to a small Minnesota town. Although I have elected the fastest route utilizing the interstate, the miles will still be long and solitary with lots and lots of green to view. These drives allow me to relax and let my mind drift to whatever topic it needs to explore.
This is the travel of my work and I find it so pleasant! Gone are the anxious feelings brought on by too much traffic, congestion and missed appointments. My days in California are behind me now.
The country roads of Iowa and Southeastern Minnesota are beautiful and peaceful; farms of rich soil and abundant produce cover the area. Sometimes the only other vehicle I encounter for hundreds of miles is a tractor. The roads are flat for the most part and run straight for many miles at a time which is almost hypnotic in a way but also cleansing for my spirit. Winter drives enchant me with the blowing and drifting snow swirling before me and the total quiet of the air; Spring and summer rains wash the dust off my car and my windshield wipers provide a syncopated soothing rhythm.
I look forward to my drives because they allow me to watch the progress of the seasons as they march through the plains. I am thankful to be in this place and able to enjoy and appreciate it.
When I was 2 or 3 I enjoyed stacking blocks and my brother enjoyed knocking them down. I learned, at that young age, how to rebuild. In my teens I allowed my desire for acceptance to leave me vulnerable to rejection. When my ego was crushed by disappointment, I learned how to rebuild my self confidence.
Each day I am provided with news that tells the story of something or someone(or community) that has been knocked down and stands at the edge of their choice to rebuild.
Today I recognize Orlando, Florida where a terrible massacre occurred yesterday in the early morning. The parents, sisters, brothers, friends and neighbors touched by death and injury will have to learn to rebuild their trust that the world is still safe. In the larger community, an awareness and tolerance for our differences as human beings must begin to rebuild and strengthen.
Rebuild. We do it every day, in some way.
Succulent, buttery lobster has been on my mind. For a few years now, I’ve wanted to take a trip back to New England to see the fall foliage and pursue my desire for lobster.
Years ago, my sister and I met in Boston and traveled up to Maine while staying in bed and breakfasts along the way and enjoying the local cuisine. I don’t recall that she was as willing to seek out lobster as I was but she never complained when we made another meal of seafood our priority. I discovered Lobster Rolls for the first time and am salivating while writing about it now.
My first thought, as a cruising aficionado and agent, would be to combine the trip with a cruise up the coast. I’ve checked available itineraries from various cruise lines. I am excited about cruising anytime, anywhere but for lobster to remain my focus, I think this has to be a land-based trip.
I’m a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of lobster offerings on the coast and since I can’t eat more than a few meals(of lobster) a day I have to be pretty selective about my itinerary. If I make this a 5 day trip and have 10 lobster meals that means I can choose up to 10 restaurants and lobster shacks to visit on my trip. Finding these eateries will determine everything: the airport I arrive at and the car I will rent and the roads I will travel and the places I will stay.
Wish me luck and let me know if you have any favorite lobster places from Massachusetts to Maine!
I’ve been watching the migration of refugees into Europe and reflecting on the movement of peoples and the changes they bring.
Being of European descent, I have always felt at home when traveling in Europe. I know that I am the outsider from America and that I don’t really fit in like a local but I try to respect the host country’s customs and enjoy the environment and culture I am visiting. I know that my ancestors brought a part of the European culture to America and used it as a foundation for building their new life.
Watching the refugees flow into Europe – and other parts of the world – reminds me that we all came from somewhere. Very few of us are indigenous. Back in our ancestral dna was an intrepid soul that felt the need to move. My husband has ancestors that moved because their family lands had already been divided out and nothing was available for the younger sons. I have Irish ancestors that moved because their lands were no longer life-sustaining. I have Eastern European ancestors that moved because of the oppression of their government. Everyone moved because they were seeking change and opportunity to provide a better life for themselves and their family. I like to believe that each generation has added something to strengthen their new community.
It’s part of the movement of life and we must embrace those refugees and give them the opportunities that we all had at sometime in our lineage.
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California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota are all in the rear view mirror as we settle into our lake home in Minnesota. Our road trip from the west coast took 6 days and we admired the beautifully changing countryside as we headed east. The moving truck arrived and all has been set into the house – but the house is not ready for us to unpack due to renovations. So I escape to the beauty of this place and find serenity in nature.
The mornings are spectacular as viewed through our kitchen window. The large winged pelicans gracefully glide into the water ready to snatch a fish or two as they jump out of the water for bugs. The great heron stands patiently and turns it’s long elegant neck from side to side like a periscope looking out to the horizon. The mother duck and her nine ducklings pass under the dock and begin bobbing their heads into the muddy shoreline searching for breakfast. The day is new and full of promise. I love the early mornings on the lake!
I am blessed with good friends that enjoy travel as much as I do. While we may have different destinations, it is always enjoyable to get together and share our stories. Last evening I dined with some good friends to catch up on our lives. The weather was perfect; calm and near 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The sunset cast it’s beautiful colors across the lightly clouded sky as we watched from our patio table next to the little lake. I forget sometimes how wonderful my little corner of the world can be!
One of my friends had just returned from a trip to Puerto Vallarta. She was traveling with a 93 year old woman and two other women in their late 50’s. She’s in her early 70’s so they made a lively group of senior ladies. Her stories had me in tears from laughter; it encourages me to know that the desire to travel and experience new things will stay with us throughout our lives. It’s more important than ever to keep myself healthy to enjoy it!