I miss traveling. That chapter of my life seems so long ago that it’s almost foggy, like the dream of a girl I’ve forgotten. Seems like my whole life, prior to having children, revolved around traveling. The moments in between simply became moments to pass until the next trip.
When I was younger, it was trips to Fremont or Raleigh. Stretches of time exploring the woods near my grandparents’ house, watching the river trickle past. As I got older, the trips became my own choosing, places like New York, Maine, Utah. No agenda, just spur of the moment adventure. Hikes around lakes, picnics on the beach.
Daxson and I got married and we were delighted to share our love of traveling…exploring places together from Newport to Mar de Plata in Argentina. We spent our honeymoon tucked away in a small cabin in Maine, delighting in the seaside charm of Bar Harbor, sipping wine on the patio, watching time tick by ever so slowly.
Now I’m knee deep in a world that is characterized by perpetual motion. Limited time to soak up the view and relish in small town charm. Paralyzed by the notion that traveling for a mother is not vacation, but simply a trip, most often accompanied by stress and double the workload. Throw in some obsessive compulsive germaphobia tendencies and my traveling days have come to a grinding halt for now.
Sure, we make the occasional trip to Austin. Granny and Pappy’s house becomes our new home while we explore the city and surrounding areas. But it’s really the only place (aside from a few day trips in South Texas and our camping adventures, all within 5 hours of our home) that we’ve managed to venture to. It’s all fantastic fun but not quite the carefree traveling I fondly remember from my college days.
But it’s okay. While I tend to have a melancholic spirit, often finding the glass half empty, I have learned that there’s something special to be found no matter where I am. That’s a huge statement for me to make because it’s no secret that there’s no love lost between me and this city we call home.
I’ve learned that the place you live is only as good as you allow it to be (I still walk around repeating to myself the poem Mom taught me during one of our moves across country…If you want to live in a kind of town, the kind of town you like, you don’t have to pack your bags and go on a long, long hike) so I try to find the good wherever we are.
And when I stop and reflect on what I loved most about traveling, it wasn’t so much the cities or the shopping or the museums…it was the chance to see something new. The chance to slow down. The chance to escape the rush of everyday life and just soak up the beauty around me.
Lucky for me, beauty can be found anywhere. It’s a matter of training my eye to see the beauty where I am…right now.
I dream of showing my kids the world one of these days. But today is not that day. And I’m okay with that.
While we pass the time until we’re ready for big trips to faraway lands, we’ve learned to be tourists in our own town.
Daxson and I are big believers that some of the best things in life are simple and FREE so our tourist adventures often follow those specifications.
Surrounded by a culture of entitlement, I’m glad we can give our kids this small gift…the gift of contentment. The ability to be surrounded by simple and think it’s the most marvelous thing in the world.
Seeing the world from behind the viewfinder on my camera forces me to see the world through my kids’ eyes. EVERYTHING is grounds for adventure. EVERYTHING has some hidden beauty. EVERYTHING. If I just choose to see it.
Today I chose to see it. And by opening my eyes, I saw all the adventure and beauty that my kids saw. And it was marvelous.