red rock canyon

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”   Pico Ayer

I love to travel.  Spending time in places I have never been opens up my heart.  Seeing new sights and experiencing new things I become surprised and delighted by what unfolds.  When I travel I have the willingness to risk and not care about looking like a fool.  I will try something new and simply just go for it.  

When I travel I feel as if the entire world is opened up to me and I can be or do anything. The people I encounter see me for who I am in that exact moment.  They do not know my back story.  They do not know the sadness I carry in my heart or how terribly shy I used to be.   They don't know where I am coming from or where I am going.  They  just see me in that moment exactly as I am.  

Travel is a gift.  It brings about a freedom that I can't seem to find at home.  It pushes me past my boundaries, reminds me of how strong I am, and sets me free of any expectations I have been carrying along.  When I travel I learn so much about myself.  

On this past trip I learned that I need to slow down.  When I am somewhere I tend to be in a rush to experience it all.  I don't want to miss a thing and I don't want to waste my time.  But there is so much to see and feel even when we are standing still.  When you walk slowly you experience a place more deeply.  You give yourself the chance to take it in and you tuck into your heart what you want to carry home.  You may even find the right path to pick up your bags.  

This weekends trip reminded me of the time I spent driving cross country with a friend and one of her friends that I had never met before.  It was a trip of a life time.  NJ to CA and then back.  We had the opportunity to visit the most stunning national parks and meet some of the most interesting people. 

On the way out west we stopped in Selena Utah because our bellies were hungry and we needed to fill the car with gas.  We found our way to this store that sold everything one could need in a small town ... pizza, video rentals, balloons, and tuxedo rentals were just a few of the things you could get in this one shop.  We were delighted by this because it was something we never experienced before.  

Another time we stopped for lunch was in Colorado.  We entered a restaurant where the gentleman who sat us at the bar took our order and also cooked our food.  He owned the place and had so many stories to tell us about the area.  He was intrigued by our trip and we were happy to share about our travels.  

Being on the road feels like home to me.  I love the unexpected.  Like crossing four lanes of road because we realize we need to turn right instead of left.  I love having the radio on and singing along to the tunes.  The scenery is ever changing and you just never know what you may encounter.  You see things you will never see at home and meet people you most likely will never see again.  It is an incredible journey filled with hope.  

There is something about the west that pulls me in.  The mountains, the colors, it feels like peace to me.  I am grateful to have so many wonderful memories tucked into my heart.  Watching the sunset at the grand canyon after we decided that seeing the sunset was way more important than putting up our tent properly.  After all we were only staying there one night.  And the great big arches that reached all the way up to the sky.  They were beyond breathtaking.  There were also the moments that you look back on and chuckle like when the vending machine was covered in little bugs and you were hoping for a snack or the time you ran over something big and were grateful that the owner of the car was asleep when it happened.  And the way that you never met him but how often she spoke of him on the journey you felt like you had known him forever.  

Hearing the song The Scientist by Cold Play brings me right back to California and how we  played this song on repeat in the car.  We swam in the ocean for hours in San Diego and never got a chance to taste In-n-Out burger.  But finally after miles of searching we did find a Taco Bell.    

Travel has made me a better person.  It has encouraged me to explore and pushed me to grow.  It has given me opportunity and taught me how to adapt to ever changing situations.  What I like most about traveling is going with the flow.  There is always something new to see and someone new to meet.  Traveling fills my adventurous spirit.  I am so grateful for the many different opportunities that I get to explore new places and see the world from the road.  

For travel is it's own type of tour guide.  When we are open enough to listen it will guide you to your next destination.  Be open to all the road has to teach you.