I suppose I come by this wanderlust quite naturally. I grew up in a home where each year my travel-loving mother meticulously planned our family vacations months in advance of the actual departure date. The build-up was so intense that by the time we loaded the car and pulled out of the driveway, I could hardly contain my excitement. Growing up, summer meant hitting the road with family and a AAA road map as soon as the school doors closed.
Travel still excites me. And when it comes to vacations, I’m like a child. I love to see new sites, to visit places and to meet people. I’m like a sponge – I want to absorb and to understand the differences and similarities I share with those who live in the places I visit. The food, the language. The landscape, the architecture and the local flavor. The sights, sounds and attitudes. I enjoy observing how people from other parts of the country or world live, knowing that while we have many differences, we watch the same sun rise and set.
Last summer I traveled through Europe, seeing sights I’d only read about or heard described on The Travel Channel. The magnificent architecture and works of art crafted by nameless people hundreds of years ago took my breath away. I was visiting places where world history had been made – London, the English Channel, Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland and the Alps, Austria and my favorite, Italy.
This year I will spend time enjoying the water and varied outdoor activities found at Lake of the Ozarks. Fresh air, sunshine, shady woods, swimming. Beautiful sunsets, laughter shared and memories made with family and friends.
Then I’ll travel to Middle Tennessee to attend my brother’s wedding on the front porch of a tiny restored log cabin on the family farm. He and I are the seventh generation of our family to share ownership of this tranquil and beautiful slice of rural paradise. There’ll be lots of hugs, laughter and great food.
Finally, my daughter and I will travel with friend Stephanie and her daughter to New York City. Our girls have grown up together, and at ages 20 and 21, are on the threshold of careers and their adult lives. The four of us have traveled together several times, but this may be our last chance to do so before the girls move on with their lives. We’ll giggle, put miles on our athletic shoes, take hundreds of photos and probably shed a few tears.
We’ll visit the usual tourist places like the Empire State Building, Coney Island and Broadway, but we’ll also make a somber visit to the memorial built on the site of The World Trade Center.
So this summer I’ll soak up the travel memories like a new sponge in water. I’ll cherish the special moments spent with family and friends. Whether your travel plans include a cross-country adventure or a jaunt across town, I wish you safe travels and many memorable moments. As the words to a song from the 1970s stated, “We may never pass this way again.”