I love travel. I love what travel does for me emotionally, physically, spiritually. I love who I am when I am traveling. That’s the heart of why I started this blog.
It all really started with a little thing I wrote about being on a train between Edinburgh and London. I actually had no intentions of writing a travel blog, which is sort of the flavor this has become.
I was writing about being laid off and about where I was going next. Writing a blog became a way of making sense of the turmoil that was my life. Writing a blog made me feel like there was a reason for yet another lay off, yet another job hunt, yet another change and it was never meant to be more than that.
You see, it was 2009 and the biotech industry had pretty much just imploded. I was part of the 1/3rd of my company that had just been let go and I was a little bit – okay, a large bit – in denial. I took off for Europe for a month.
I love travel. Travel has been my happy place for a little more than a decade now. When I am on the road I am in my skin, I am confident and happy and just so much more me.
From the moment I got horribly lost in London and then found my way again, travel has been a metaphor for life. We get lost; we get lost a lot if we are honest about it, but if we persevere we can find our way again. Even if it isn’t the first time, even if it seems like there is no way back, even if we are afraid.
So I fled to Europe. That’s the only true word for it; I fled. I ran as far and as fast as I could and found myself standing at JFK taking a call from my Dad where I finally had to tell him that, yes, indeed, I was once again unemployed. It was both a frightening and exhilarating moment for me.
I also love to write. Writing really is a very basic part of my DNA; so it made sense that I would write about what was going on. So I started to write about the journey I was on – this journey through yet another economic upheaval I was living through (yes, I went through this in the 80’s as well – all told, I’ve been laid off 7 times!)
So I began to write about this trip. I wrote about my second trip to Paris and how much better it was than the first one. I wrote about discovering Lyon and Vienne and a Fourth of July spent watching a spectacular lightning storm.
I wrote about that because it was also my mother’s birthday, and I felt guilty about being in France rather than being with her as she was in the early stages of a slow decline. Being in Vienne that day was important to me, a way to feel alive while I felt my mother slipping slowly away from life.
I wrote about being the only non-Scottish American in Edinburgh during the Gathering of the Clans. But the first real blog post about travel? That was the train trip. I think I finally came out of the closet about how much I love travel in that post.
The gist of it was how train travel makes us slow down. I realize now that travel itself, all forms of it, makes us slow down. You can’t make a plane or a train go any faster than it is going. You have to give up all the illusions of control when you travel.
After a few years of hearing women talk about how brave I was, or how adventurous I was – heck, I was called an iconoclast and free spirit! – I realized that I needed to write about travel. I wanted other women, other men too, to find the same freedom to just be who they are that I had found whenever I am on the road.
I love travel. I love who I am when I travel. I want you to find that too. I want you to find the metaphor for your life, and maybe you can do it by getting out of your comfort zone, getting on that plane and finding yourself in the moments when you are lost in a strange city.
That’s why I started this blog. That’s why I keep writing it.