the next 50 needs more travel
It's July, which is my birth month -- and this year is a big one, I'm turning 50! Because I swim in a gene pool shared by long livers (three of my grandparents lived past 95, and one lived until 102!), I figure I'm only halfway done. So to celebrate my birthday, I've decided that for every day for the first two weeks of this month, I'm going to share images and words representing what I hope the next 50 years will have more of. Time to say it and claim it, by gum. And maybe, if what I say resonates with you, you'll be inspired to get more of these things for your next 50 years, too.
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
~ Mark Twain
I grew up with travel as a core value: when your family is from a tiny 2-island nation, the urge to get off of it and see what else is out there is high. As a kid, my parents managed to take my sister and me to the United States, Canada, Europe and neighbouring Barbados, as finances allowed. It was important to our parents that we understand there was more out there than just our country; and also to understand that our country was a beautiful place in its own right.
Once I was an adult, my love for travel never stopped. As a lawyer, I was able to travel to South America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe; as a writer, I returned to several of those places, as well as Australia. I've loved every single trip I've been able to take, and happily, I married a man who adores travel as much as I do. Whenever we can, we try to visit a new place, and Alex always comes along with us. For us, travel is more than seeing beautiful places, it's about making the world personal. For example, a couple of years after I visited Kenya, a shooting in Nairobi made international news. Because I had been to Nairobi and connected with folks there, the news item wasn't just a passing news story, it was personal -- I checked in with friends I'd made on Facebook to make sure they were okay (they were). Travel reinforces how interconnected we are. Mark Twain got it right.
In the last year or so, my travel has waned, so I want to make it a priority again, especially as a photographer. At last count, I've visited 31 countries -- let's hope during the next 50 years, I get to visit at least that many more.
Soundtrack: Step out by José González, from the soundtrack of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Also for my birthday, I thought I'd give a nice, deep discount to one of my most popular online courses, GLOW: a 21-day ecourse for claiming your light! So if you'd like to get more light in your life, enter coupon code WATCHMEGLOW for 30% off the course. It really is a great course: one participant said she was so happy to rediscover "how blessed I am in my life"; another said, "GLOW came into my life at the perfect time. It is slowly changing my mental state and I have been focusing on the positives for the first time in ages." So join me. It's the perfect self-care for the summer.