It just feels strange. I am away from home.
came to visit us for two weeks. Just a change of scenery. She drove all the way from VA for the first time by herself. She’s had some life changes in the past several years and I am so proud of the strong, independent woman she has become. For her to move through the changes and to watch her grow into this incredibly strong and organized woman has been inspiring. She literally packed up her office (and she has a lot of office hardware) placed it in a laundry basket and made the 695+ mile drive herself. I love the free spirit she has become. Reminiscent of my own personal experience in my mid-thirties. Not the same circumstances but it brought me back to a place where I remember when I was trying to figure out who I really was for the first time.
I decided to make the road trip with her. She precariously repacked her Honda Accord, made room for my little compact bag and off we went. It felt so weird to do this familiar drive again after 20 years. We used to drive up and down the east coast from VA to NY and New England to visit family when our children were small. It’s been over 20 years. As the drive progressed, the memories came flooding back. In my mind, I could just hear and see my children in the back seats frozen in time at ages 2, 7 & 8.
91 South and 95 South through NYC did not look any different, at all. Still a lot of traffic, still a lot of potholes through NYC, a gross amount of trash, still a lot of crazy drivers. I never remembered my hand clenching or the white knuckles of nerves though while navigating the three lanes of traffic. I guess I was much more carefree and spirited in my 20s and 30s. I’m pushing 60 now, totally a different experience!
I decided we would be Thelma and Louise minus the crime part and definitely minus the driving off the cliff part at the end. The drive felt like it went by so quickly. It is two weeks before spring, so the geography was gray, leafless, but the sun was bright (& blinding at times, another age-related issue perhaps). The closer we got to her home, the more mountainous it became. I lived in VA for many, many years but this is the first time I have been this far west.
to me mostly because I was traveling without Michael. I opened my eyes to the sun beaming through the blinds. Barbara’s home is warm, welcoming, and very sweet. Not going to lie, the first thought that came into my head was, “so, this is what it is to wake up without my husband stealing all the covers!”.
Strange in a way too because it felt like I was having an outer body experience. Strange because it is not routine. Strange maybe because I found myself reflecting on how far I have come. Strange because my own children are in the same age range I was when I was ‘becoming me’ and strange because that feels like it was just yesterday, not a quarter of a century ago. Strange because perhaps I came to the realization of how old I actually am now.
almost in the same breath, stepping outside of what you think is normal and comfortable can be good for the soul, right?
Some of you who have been with me for a long time remember that I would write stories and attach to my newsletter. Over the past year, I left my creative person. Stories are not the same as a blog about a hotel I love or a river cruise itinerary but more about something deeper.
On being away. How a simple road trip turned into something completely unexpected and so good for the soul.
I always ended the blog with the same sentence, “So, what does this have to do about travel?” and I would try to relate what I was expressing to travel. I am not sure this time. A lot of time has passed since I wrote something from the inside out. Maybe this is more about self-realization and reflection, peace for my own soul.
If I were to sum it all up and end this with my past writing style, this is what I would say about how it all relates to travel.
We were forced to change our habits; we were forced to stay home and some of us had no choice or any awareness of what was happening to our spontaneous lust to just go. This past year all of us did not think about planning our vacation time because there was no vacation to take. Personally, I dug my heals in deep and pushed through, did all the things to move, cancel, refund or whatever had to be done for my clients. What choices did we all have but to get through it the best we could, right?
The past day on the road felt like I was living the dialog of the movie, “Finding Nemo”. I knew leaving my comfortable place was going to be a huge challenge for me mentally. I knew that I was going to be in a spot where I felt out of control. Covid has forced me into this unwelcoming and strange place where I feel I have to have my hand in everything and ALL the things or the world will fall apart. That is ridiculous and I now recognize that. The sky is NOT falling! Which again loops me back to what I was trying to say.
Being away, this road trip, and traveling reminded me to open doors. This trip, this traveling, has put me in touch of what is real, how I feel, what I need to work on, and to remember the world is a beautiful place no matter where you are. I feel this place and being away is reopening my eyes to what is possible, how good it can be. Let me say that again, BEING AWAY HAS REOPENED MY EYES TO WHAT IS POSSIBLE AND HOW GOOD IT CAN BE.
I am taking this week to remember that. There is a lot of good my friends in being away.
I am a lucky lady to have the honor to work side by side with Lisa Collins. Ocean Cruise phenom and lover of all things Ocean Cruising. Together we are the Lisas.
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