Today I didn’t even to think about it. I always knew what “T” was going to be just like I always knew what “P” was going to be (Pinterest).
Today I’m thankful for travel. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. A few years ago, the company my husband worked for was being sold. He had worked for the corporate office (located in Georgia) on a few projects over the years. They didn’t want to lose him so they offered him a job as a Forensic Accountant. The schedule required two weeks out of town and two weeks home each month. Because the second two weeks was designated for the write-up of the audit and didn’t require his presence in Georgia, he was able to work at home (Michigan).
After that first year of travel within the United States, the companies he was auditing were going to be sold and we were right back where we were the year prior. So-o-o-o he was offered the same position but now the travel would be primarily international. Whoa! We never saw that one coming. We were really excited about the prospect. We planned that as soon as he had enough frequent flyer miles to purchase my ticket (that only took a couple of long trips) I would tag along a couple of times a year. Within the first year I was able to go with him to Sao Paulo, Brazil and later that year to Paris. (I should add that his traveling got real old, real quick. I don’t know how we did it for ten years. It was a huge strain on both of us and took a physical toll on him.) We are glad that’s over. It was exciting but exhausting.
I’ve been fortunate to see a great deal of the world and it’s made me a better person. I have a better acceptance of the uniqueness of various cultures because I’ve experienced them. I’ve seen the advantages I have because I live in the United States. I’m more acutely aware of all the freedoms I enjoy. I’m grateful that I live in a democracy, flawed those it is at times. I’ve seen the living conditions of the poorest of the poor on the way from airports to hotels and I am humbled. I’ve witnessed prepubescent girls in some countries being treated as nothing more than chattel for older, pot-bellied men. I certainly don’t judge the girls; I absolutely do judge the men.
I’ve witnessed some things we would all do well to mimic. Like how most of the rest of the world walks to where they’re going rather than drive. In the Netherlands, they bike-for miles and miles. People from other parts of the world seem to care more about their appearance in public. (One doesn’t see pajama bottoms in Europe and aerobic shoes are strictly for exercise.) Meals are eaten slowly, therefore food is enjoyed more and obesity rates are lower. Retail shops are closed on Sunday. (How would we ever handle that here? We can’t even stay closed on Thanksgiving anymore. What’s next, Christmas?)
And of course, there’s the pastry. OMG! I’ve eaten my way through many a patisserie. No self-respecting pastry chef one would even consider substituting margarine for butter or milk for cream. But because they take the time to really enjoy their food, they are satisfied with less. Cappuccinos in Australia, of all places, are the best I’ve ever had.
If there are some of you reading this that’ve never been out of the country, find a way to see the rest of the world. Spend less elsewhere. Check out all the options. Don’t give up. I have never regretted that my husband and have made traveling such a priority. It has taught me more than any book.
Believe me; I know how fortunate I’ve been. Sometimes it seems like a dream. I have to look at my pictures to convince myself. We haven’t traveled out of the country for over a year now and I’m getting itchy feet. We still have an insane amount of frequent flyer miles, so I’m keeping a suitcase ready to go.