Why I Love to Travel

 

As I write this, I’m recovering from a day of travel. I guess we need to be careful when wishing for more hours in the day, because yesterday—with the time change from Ireland to the US—we added five hours, and spent most of them laying over in JFK. We were awake for almost 24 hours straight!

So, I’m tired and my body is not sure what to make of all this messing around with circadian rhythm. My work schedule was crazy before my trip, and it will be crazy for a few weeks after. Similarly, it’s challenging to get the household ready for me to be gone, and to restore some semblance of order upon my return.

Still, I think it’s totally worth it. I visited southwest Ireland with a friend who really knows how to pick interesting places to stay and sites to see and doesn’t mind driving on the “wrong” side of very narrow, twisty roads.

We saw some of the most amazing wonders. Ireland is hilly and rocky, and green and full of sheep and ancient ruins. There are beautiful beaches and dramatic cliffs and glacial lakes and quaint little towns, and innumerable pubs filled with the friendliest people, the warmest fires, and the tastiest soup you’ll ever encounter.

And seeing and experiencing all of that is phenomenal. But I think what I like equally is the opportunity to expand my perspective. To step away from what is familiar, give myself a chance to reflect—and just be—and allow myself to absorb whatever a conversation or a cultural escapade might reveal.

Here are just a few of the takeaways from my latest adventure:

Many, many people of the world live in very humble abodes, and they are grateful to have them. I am embarrassed by the times I have felt shame for not “keeping up with the Joneses” who have big, fancy houses. There’s definitely something to be said for keeping things simple, living within our means, and not being greedy with resources. Many Americans live excessively it seems to me.

In general, people in other countries have a better grasp of what is going on in the world than we do. They don’t have the arrogance of believing that the only stuff that matters is what’s going on in their own country.

Ireland seems like it is not an easy place to live. The terrain is rugged, the weather is punishing. There are only so many jobs. It’s not easy to grow food there. One tour guide suggested that while Ireland enjoyed a brief period of great prosperity, it did not last; and that he was glad actually because Ireland is at its best when it’s poor. That’s when people pull together and enjoy the most camaraderie. I think we have lost that in our country, that sense of shared experience.

When you visit a place with many days of cold wind, overcast skies, and drizzle, it really makes you appreciate our many days of warmth and abundant sunshine.

Travel reinforces for me an attitude of gratitude. I’m grateful for a safe journey. I’m grateful to be home—both in my own dwelling and in my beautiful hometown. I’m grateful to be returning to a happy life—seeing my garden again, and family, and clients and friends. I’m grateful to be able to add this voyage and this viewpoint to the resumé of being me.

Category : Blog &Personal Growth Posted on March 28, 2018

One Comment → “Why I Love to Travel”


  1. Karen Ball
    4 weeks ago

    Welcome home, Julie. I love your perspective on travel and couldn’t agree with you more. We are both blessed and cheated by the wealth of our country.

    Reply

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