Travel has always been an important part of my family’s activities. First it was day trips and then as finances and time permitted, longer trips were undertaken. Travelling with kids is a worthwhile adventure, even with the usual messes that follow along.
Losing out on travel has been one of the most difficult parts of dealing with the past two years; the cancelled trips and the feeling that you don’t have the freedom to do what you want.
Even once the travel restrictions were lifted, I felt it wasn’t a good idea to venture outside of the usual boundaries. That’s a personal choice and comfort level. Others have plunged back into the travelling world. But I look forward to travelling again sometime in the not-so-distant future.
As a natural-born pessimist, it’s difficult to be optimistic, but I do make the attempt. Not in a “Do or do not. There is no try.” sense as Yoda is oft-quoted. I plan. My wife and travel partner plans. We have great plans.
For years I have listened to a travel show on NPR. Travel guide Rick Steves talks weekly about travel in Europe and elsewhere. We’ve watched every episode of his show Traveling with Rick Steves. That show is on PBS but can also be streamed through many digital platforms. Travel shows are more entertaining than many of the police/fire/medical dramas on the networks in my opinion.
One of the things that appeals to me about Steves’ shows is his approach to travel. It’s not about marking-off a checklist of the top-10 landmarks in XYZ locale. It’s about slowing down, enjoying the area around you and appreciating how the locals live in that place.
Travel can broaden your world view and expose you to perspectives you may not have considered before.
Don’t get me wrong, this traveller has no plans on eating some of the local delicacies available. There is no desire to run with the bulls in Pamplona or toss a Caber in Inverness. I do want to view the Matterhorn, tour castles, and perhaps see a Caber or two get tossed.
Another appealing part of watching these travel shows is discovering where I don’t want to travel. Making mistakes and failing are the best teachers one can get in life – but if watching a travel show can save me from a costly mistake, all the better.
One benefit of travel is being away from home makes me happy to come home. Travel is outside of my comfort zone, and that’s great. But it’s also nice to return home. Being away reminds you of what you like about living where you do.
As we sit here and tread water, trips to Germany and England are planned and re-planned again. These both will be good trips. More trips are on the bucket list. That list is better than the home-repair list I usually have to look at.
I’m looking forward to that time when we’re comfortable with travelling in the open world again. My passport is ready, as is my camera. I only hope that time comes soon enough.