Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved travel. My parents and I would drive seven miles from our home to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on a Sunday afternoon and we’d sit on the outdoor rooftop terrace and watch the planes take off. (You could do that back in the 60’s!) We’d look at the tail art on the jets and try to figure out where the plane was from and where it was headed. We’d watch people arrive at customs (you could do that in the 60’s, too) from the second floor of the international arrivals building, making up stories about where the luggage had been. I even worked at JFK during my summer breaks during my college years.
My well-traveled European parents and I had lots of conversations about the importance of understanding other cultures and how getting out into the world shaped who they were and who I’d become. Over the years, I’ve collected a lot of stamps in my passport, having set out to see the world and learn more about it – and myself.
What I know for sure is that you don’t always have to go far to learn a lot. Setting out on a walk around the neighborhood can feel like an adventure just as much as getting on a plane does. And, you can be just as confused in a gorgeous setting half way around the globe. What matters is how present you are, wherever you are. When you slow down enough to use all of your senses, really allowing yourself to be fully immersed in whatever emotions or physical sensations are present. THAT’s when the adventure comes alive, whether it’s in your backyard, along an ancient pilgrimage route in Spain, or walking the twists and turns of a labyrinth.