“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
My love of travel started when my mom put me on a plane to Maine from New Jersey to spend the summer with my cousins. I was nine and it was the mid-70s. Airline travel was a bit different then. A little less like a bus in the sky and a somewhat exclusive it was a time when most people didn’t travel by plane, especially if you were a kid. There were no direct flights to Maine, so it was necessary to change planes in Boston.
Because I was on my own, the stewardesses (yes, that’s what they were called back in the day and I don’t recall ever seeing a steward) escorted me from one gate to another, sometimes Id even get to ride in the golf cart-like vehicle if the gate change was in another terminal.
Spending the summers in Maine happened for a few years, then my grandparents decided to retire back to their home country of England. That summer, I made my first international flight to the other side of the pond. We flew on British Airways. Since a friend of the family was a stewardess on this airline, we got some extra special treatment. The service was impeccable, the food delicious, and I remember being escorted to the front of the plane for a tour of the cockpit. Very cool, especially when you’re flying on a 747 and you’re just 13.
Those experiences fostered my sense of adventure for going just about anywhere, anytime to experience other places. In fact, my travels in my teen years had such a profound effect on me that I wanted to foster that sense of adventure in my children, so not only did I fly when I was pregnant (up to 6 months), but I had both of my daughters on a plane by the time they were three months old! They’ve flown as far as Hawaii, with two transfers in between, and someday soon (I hope!) we will visit Europe together.
Experiencing how other people lives changes ones being. At least it changed mine. Even spending time in different parts of the United States has helped me to appreciate that even though we may all stand for freedom, that means different things to different people. Its all good!
I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit many cities and countries, live and attend school in England when I was a teen, eat at amazing restaurants, spend night in luxurious hotels (and plenty of dives when I was 18 and traveling Europe on a teeny weeny budget), and take in many cultural events. My love of travel never wains and thinking about my travels is a great way to relax and take a stroll down memory lane!