I did it

Good friends reconnect over a few drinks and plans are made for traveling abroad!

We hadn’t seen each other in years but once we started talking there was no time distance.  All the closeness that we had in our earlier lives came back.  We talked of many things but once we started talking of travel a plan was hatched.  I love to plan the travel and am always ready to go; my companion had the desire and the general locations so together we hatched an itinerary and started our countdown to the trip abroad.

We began talking more frequently as we planned the details of the trip; we talked of what and how to pack and what excursions to take.  I made some reservations for different experiences along our itinerary.

My companion was not accustomed to packing lightly; an extra day before the trip was necessary to combine our efforts in getting the luggage under control.  We were going to be handling our own luggage for parts of the trip and it needed to remain manageable.  We were taking trains, planes and boats across several European countries and neither of us was feeling up to lugging lots of extra accessories!

We laughed our way through the trip and both of us felt lighter and happier than we had in a long while.  We were sorry to say goodbye to our vacation together and immediately started planning the next trip.

Everything went as planned and we enjoyed each other’s company and found out we were excellent travel buddies!  I did it!~

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I thought I could do it

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.

 

 

We all came from somewhere

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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