If you’ve been reading for a while you may know that last year was my year of travel. The intention I set was to travel one place each month. There were only two rules, 1st visit one place a month, that place could be as close as the next city over or as far away as across the world but 2nd I had to approach each trip with the eyes of the traveler.
I never defined what “the eyes of a traveler” meant for all of you, but I always had a clear understanding of what it meant to me. This is what it means to me: The eyes of a true traveler are fresh. Travelers recognize that travel is not only a privilege but an opportunity to learn. Travelers are open and welcoming to the diversity and differences they’ll find in other cultures and they are respectful of what they don’t yet understand. To me travelers are open, free, unburdened by tasks and routines of ordinary life, and I find that good travelers are more willing to live in the present moment and go with the flow especially when challenges or unexpected events happen. After all, that's where the good stories come from.
Last year when I proclaimed it the year of the travel the universe took me seriously, and I took the task very seriously. I made the choice to say yes to all of the opportunities that presented themselves. The year was epic beyond measure. I loved it fully and by the end of the year what I longed for most was to be home, rooted in one place for a little while. I wanted to reach my roots deeply back into Greensboro and reconnect with friends I’d lost touch with over the craziness of the year.
Putting my roots back into home, I’d like to think that the qualities of a traveler are qualities that have seeped into my everyday life. I’d like to think that traveling the way I did last year helped me learn how to become less uptight, to embrace bumps in the road more easily, to go with the flow when things don’t go as planned (because in travel, they rarely do) and do it with openness and a spirit of adventure.
This year an opportunity to travel arose. It was a “can’t say no” type of travel opportunity. It’s the law of attraction, I declared myself a world traveler last year and the universe said, “come on, you gotta get back out there!” Yet I hesitated to say yes. My business is still in fledgling territory and I was worried about leaving again so soon. I took a day to think about it (I rarely take a day to think about saying yes to travel). When I was mulling it over I realized wherever we are in life there are always reasons to say no to travel, thinking it's too expensive, too much to do, too much to get done before you go, not enough vacation time (luckily I don't have to worry about this one anymore). The list of reasons to say no are almost always longer than the reasons to say yes, but I said yes because I know that I'll come back richer with experience. I said yes because travel is always an opportunity to change the way I think. It's an opportunity to remind myself to see my life through the eyes of a traveler.
Because I said yes, a week from today I’ll be in Europe again with my friend and wise woman Christie Soper of Suncierge. We'll be on a riverboat cruise through Germany, Switzerland, and France. Don’t ask me where exactly I’ve been too busy to look closely at the itinerary, I’m not even entirely sure where I’m flying into yet, to be honest. This is how I travel for myself; I attend to or look at the details at the last minute. I'll approach this trip through the eyes of a traveler and I'll bring this experience home and into my everyday life.
Where in life could you apply the eyes of a traveler?