Monday, December 1, 2008
Thankful for travel
With Thanksgiving just behind us, many people have spent time reflecting on what they are thankful for. In our family, we have a Thanksgiving day tradition of going around the table and sharing what we are thankful for before the glutinous behavior begins. It is a tradition my family began with my cousin's family about 10 years ago. In fact, aside from Uncle Gene starting a fire by burning the marshmallows atop the sweet potato pie, it tops the list of Thanksgiving day rituals (just ask my nephew Devon, who announced that on the school news this year!).
How does this tie in with travel, you ask? As a New York transplant, the holidays are a time of year I always consider traveling. Should we go up north for Christmas this year? That is usually the first question. The next question, where will Taryn and I go for her birthday this year? (2008 answer: Anna Maria Island) It also happens to be about the time I start to plan my annual trip in January to NYC for a big awards gala. During this trip, I often try to kill 2 birds by bringing my daughter and friends, or hooking up for dinner and a show with my sister and brother-in-law, or reuniting for a meal with my sorority sisters from college, or museum and gallery-hopping with my work buddies. My excuses to travel into the New Year are endless.
The topic of travel always seems to come up during conversations this time of year. I dunno, maybe it's just like when you buy a Mercedes, you suddenly see a million of them on the road. Or when you are pregnant, every woman you see is also with child. (Very important side note: neither of those two items are anywhere in my future.) This past weekend, my mother, daughter and I discussed wanting to go to the Macy's Day parade one of these years (my daughter actually wants to be IN it, not just attend it). And, when a few high school friends coordinated a get together at the old village watering hole in Fishkill, I was completely jealous that I wasn't heading north for Turkey Day! I also got all warm and fuzzy when I saw the many photos being posted on Facebook of friends traveling to see their family, all in order to be together and give thanks.
Why is it that I am so in love with traveling? What does it do for me? And why does the itch get so strong around the holidays? Well, I recently read an article that answered it all for me (trust me, it's worth the read: "Best letter to the editor" on Budget Travel). For me, travel is about experiencing the beauty of this great planet alongside people I want to share my life's memories with. It's a microcosm of Marianne's perfect world... a small moment in time when I am the happiest, seeking authentic and sometimes spiritual experiences while connecting with my most important people. And, it goes without saying, it is also entirely related to great food and festive celebrations that may include colorful beverages.
I am thankful to have discovered the meaningfulness of travel as it pertains to me. I hope that your year ahead is full of thanks, giving and travel!