06.26.2014

Top 5 Reasons to Book that Trip

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When I was a junior in high school I had the privilege to spend a summer abroad in France. When I returned I knew I had to get back, and sooner rather than later. I wasn’t sure how, but as most often happens in life, an opportunity to return quickly presented itself. It was Thanksgiving of my senior year (still in high school) and my grandparents had an offer to make. Would I like to go to Paris (and London) with my grandmother for my graduation gift, or would I like something more tangible? And, if we’re being honest (and my loyal grandmother, who faithfully reads this blog, can likely concur), this would have been money. Now, before you figure this is a no-brainer answer, remember, I was 17 (not even an adult yet) and the thought of cash made many opportunities limitless (well, limitless to the myopic life perspective of a 17 year old). I didn’t think twice, well maybe I did because I was still shocked, and excitedly said “yes.” Flash forward to senior year of college. The opportunity presents itself again. This time with an offer to go to New York with grandma. No brainer again.

Traveling is something that I love, and something that both Allison and I grew up with in our family. So, it was only a natural progression that it carried over into my marriage. When it came time to deciding how to spend our money, we knew that there always needed to be a little pocket put aside to travel. And so when we sometimes gripe that we wish we had a bigger backyard (okay, a backyard in general) or a newer car, I remind myself why with the reasons listed below.

1. The memories last longer than that fancy watch or expensive bag: Now, don’t get me wrong. I like (okay, love) nice things. BUT, if it came down to a trip (or even a short weekend getaway) and a tangible object, I will readily choose the getaway. Why? Because the memories from that trip are what make for rich dinner conversations. They make those trying times at work, or life in general, easier to get through. They create the pictures by my bedside table, ones that I can share with my children someday. That watch, not so much (although it may be able to help you track how many hours you have left in that 8 hour work day…).

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2. Getting away from it all can be cheaper than 12 therapy sessions: S0, I’m a therapist and I’m here to tell you that 12 therapy sessions (the approximated amount of time it takes to “rid” yourself of mild anxiety/depression) will run you about $1,500. I don’t know about you, but I can think of several places, right off the top of my head, where I wouldn’t mind putting that money for a little R&R. When I’m traveling, relaxing, and exploring on vacation I’m more present, mindful, and carefree. I pay attention to all five senses. I don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow is more of today. It’s just what I need to recharge and to lift my spirits. There’s NA- NO AGENDA.

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3. You connect: Plain and simple, whoever you are with, you are connecting with them on a deeper level. Three stories to prove this point (sorry… at least I’m not listing them all.). First: My grandmother and I are sitting in the Moulin Rouge (remember, I am 18 and she is 74 years old) and the show starts…. the women prance out… and they are sans tops. My grandmother and I look at each other, eyes wide, and she states, “I won’t tell your father if you don’t tell grandpa.” Laughter. It’s a story we tell all the time. Second: Allison goes to Paris in the dead middle of winter with her best friend. They stay in a hostel and have no grasp of the French language. This lent itself to a bottle of champagne (or two) being consumed in the room on a snowy Paris evening (and pictures to prove it). Last one: TJ and I in Barcelona. At a local Tapas joint. Not a word of English is spoken (except by us), or better yet, understood. It was up to us to make it through. It was JUST us, and it’s our favorite memory. No bag, or fancy shoes, will allow you the opportunity to connect on that level.

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4.  You’ll become more tolerant: When you travel, you learn. What goes in your home, doesn’t go all over the world. And demanding that it happens like that will get you no where, fast. When you spend money on traveling, you are also spending money towards your education, one that you can’t learn in a book. You see the history discussed in those 15 pound AP books, You talk to the locals, you understand their perspective, why they live the way they live, and you gain a greater appreciation. You may not agree with it, but you learn the why’s behind it. That is often the key to tolerance.

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5. Because it’s fun: I’m a planner. A think-before-I act type of person. And so the explanation for why someone does something can’t simply be “because it’s fun.” Yes, I am fully aware of how rigid that sounds. Yet, i justify that ridgity by having an exception (because truly rigid people don’t have exceptions….). Sometimes I simply travel because it is fun. And that is all.

Where are you going next?

Comments

  1. Meredith F says:

    Great post, Shannon. As you know, my dad passed away almost 20 years ago, and what are the things that I remember the most when I think about my dad? It’s the weeks we rented beach houses and going abroad to South America as a family. My mom and I have made a point to never stop traveling because of that, and since his death, we have traveled the world together. When moments matter the most, you won’t be thinking about that fancy bag.

  2. Annette Roberts says:

    You know how enthusiastically I agree with you !!! Travel brings so MANY rich rewards in understanding and appreciation of others and of each other!!!

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