2011 was a terrific year! I was blessed with love, laughter, and lots of travel!
While trying to avoid a trite rundown of my travels, akin to those Christmas letters written in the third person, bragging about the year and all its splendors, I will say that I enjoyed many a'trip in 2011.
I surprised my husband with a trip to Montreal for his birthday, visited Machu Pichu and various other treasures of Peru, and finally made it back to the motherland- Scotland. Aside from my international galavanting, I ventured to Oklahoma to visit my parents, won a trip to California which I shared with my best friend, made an annual trek to Florida to visit family, and saw Kentucky for the first time for a dear friend's wedding. All and all, 2011 was journey-full!
On each and every trip I learned something about the world, about people, about myself. That's the best thing about travel- it opens your eyes and makes you realize, as much as you think you know, there's always more to learn. I love that about travel. Seeing new places opens you up, and like a sponge, you absorb the world; new experiences, new relationships, new knowledge.
In Montreal I learned it's better to give than to receive. In Peru I learned that the old adage 'don't drink the water' applies to ice as well. In Scotland I learned my heart beats with a Scottish brogue and that as long as I live, and as much as I see, Edinburgh will always be my most favorite city in the whole wide world. In Oklahoma I learned that even though I have never lived there, home is where my parents are. In California I learned that good company can mitigate even the doggiest 'hipster' hotel and, looking back, it's reconnecting over funny stories and camaraderie that breathe new life into a relationship. In Florida I learned, as I do every year, that family is the most important thing in life. In Kentucky, aside from learning to not fly United, I learned that a good friend is a treasure and I felt the joy of knowing how lucky I truly am.
With the passing of another year I have fulfilled one of my life goals, an item on my bucket list...to fill up a passport with stamps and visas from around the world. There's not a single free space in my beautiful, blue travel document. Cover to cover- it's full and I couldn't feel more blessed or proud.
With a new year, and a new passport in 2012, I hope to have many more adventures. My blank passport is analogous to the beginning of a year. Unknown. Where will I go? Who will I meet? What will see? What tastes await me? What will I learn? How will I grow and change? It's exhilarating, not knowing. Every time you step out your front door, you never know where the wind will blow you.
Cheers to 2012, the year of the dragon. May this year's travel, yours and mine, be exciting, courageous and passionate. May the wind blow us across the four corners of this world and may we continue to experience the energy, vitality and enthusiasm of the travel bug!