I have dreams of traveling and seeing more of the world than I have seen so far in my life. I enjoy exploring new areas, and seeing new sights. I have particular places I’d still like to get to, that are either in the “if we win the lottery” category, or on my “bucket list” of places to see before I head to the pearly gates. I’d like to be able to assume that my husband and I will be healthy and wealthy enough in our retirement to do extensive traveling. But one look at our 401(k)’s and I doubt at least one of those requirements will be true.
Nevertheless, I hope some day to travel to parts of Europe, to visit Switzerland, Italy, and England… I’d like to holiday in the tropics, either the Virgin Islands or one of the Hawaiian islands. And on this continent, I’d like to explore the “other” coast, from the Canadian Rockies to Alaska and throughout California.
And lots of places in between.
I have to admit to some jealousy of people I meet who have traveled extensively. I know some Real Women, even friends, who have logged many miles and visited many lands. Yet conversely, I know many Real Women who rarely, if ever, travel. Both time and expense are often prohibitive – or maybe they just don’t have the wanderlust to venture beyond their own borders. No matter the reason, I believe that probably the percentage of people who have done limited travel far outnumber world travelers.
So while I await my chance to travel afar, I take great joy in traveling near. There is that phrase of exploring “your own backyard”…. and I think we often all overlook the opportunities that are available to us within an easy day’s drive of our homes. I can happily report that I have explored a substantial amount of New England and parts of New York state over the years – places that are all within approximately 5 hours of my house. And yet it is easy to pick out new places within that radius that are still waiting to be seen.
This weekend my family and I traveled only 2 hours from our home, got a hotel for two nights, and had a wonderful time exploring. Some of it I had visited before but my husband and son had not – and there is a joy in experiencing something again through someone else’s eyes. To hear a loved one say “wow” or “this is awesome” makes it all new again. And other parts were new to all three of us. One day was rainy, so we had to alter plans (no beach time) but we still had fun. The other day was absolutely perfect summer weather, and of course that makes everything even better.
Close-to-home traveling doesn’t have to be expensive either. Sometimes we camp, or do just a day trip. Sometimes we pack our own food to cut down on paying for meals out. And sometimes we go ahead and pay for a hotel and meals out and make it feel like a decadent vacation, even just for a long weekend. For my husband and son, it is a change of scenery and bonding time. For me, it is that, plus it helps quench a bit of my wanderlust.
Yes, those other more far-away places are still on my list of “to do’s”. But in the meantime, we can enjoy something a little closer to home. Besides, the added benefit to not straying so far, or being gone so long, is the happiness in my son’s face when we get back and he says “that was fun, but I love coming home.”
And he’s right….there are amazing sights, sounds and places to see….and some day we may travel the world; but Dorothy’s words will always ring true. “There’s no place like home.”