A Time To Travel And A Time To Stay Home

Travel as much as you can, it’ll leave you with something nobody can take away from you, my mother told me a long time ago. I made a habit of ignoring her advice most of the times, but she was right about this one.

For as long as I can remember, even as a child, I couldn’t wait to pack my bags and go on a trip. Also, for a very long time, I believed the greatest traveling adventure would be the next one. Like it or not, you learn that’s not always the case, just as that’s not necessarily a healthy way to perceive experiences, no matter what kind they are. As the years passed, I learnt something else about myself and travelling – not all travel opportunities should be taken, one shouldn’t embark on absolutely all journeys, just because they’re within reach.

As I contemplate the year ahead with no major travel plans in mind, I realize I’m fine with it – at least for now. I need to have other priorities for the near future, and if somehow I manage to fit in some quick trip abroad, that’ll be a bonus. If not, however…well, I’ve been through worse.

Clearly, I’ve not given up all hope, since I did recently purchase a new album for my postcard collection. Yes, that’s one of my travel traditions, I try to get a postcard or two from all places I visit (I’ve skipped a few, but who’s keeping track…). As a child, I used to look at all the postcards from places my mother had seen and I was fascinated by such colour and beauty; the thought that she had actually been there was almost unbelievable. I still remember dreaming how it must be to go to all those countries and it felt like I could never accomplish something like that. Years later, I can say I made that dream come true, I have my own postcard collection, my own travel stories, and I think I’ve already been to more countries than my mother has.

Of course, those were different times, and traveling internationally was not as easy or accessible as it has become these days. But that’s not the point. Traveling has been one of the most enriching and eye-opening experiences for me. I think I could safely compare it to reading, when it comes to the vast array of things I’ve learnt about life in general, but also about myself. Some statements you hear about traveling are well-established clichés – it broadens your horizon, it gives you the opportunity to know new places, new people and new cultures, it’s culturally enriching and helps you grow. I happen to believe they’re true, but with one condition, that you be open to learning, growing, accepting that you might be proven wrong, and occasionally even to being changed to the core.

That being said, traveling is not for everybody. Rejecting this particular part of life may make some persons ignorant, but the fact remains, there are great people who simply don’t feel this particular urge. They’re not worse for it, simply because they already have the life which suites them best and that includes no desire for traveling. We’re not identical, we don’t like the same things and we do have different needs. I remember my great-grandmother… Having to spend a week or so away from home, at the seaside, was one of the most trialling experiences for her… and this was a woman who lived through both World Wars.

Then there are those who travel, yet don’t really travel. After all, traveling is in right now, you absolutely have to inundate social media with photos from as many amazing places as possible. But when it comes to experiencing anything special, traditional those places might have to offer, the closest they come to it is a shopping spree during sales. You have no idea how many times I asked this or that person about what they’d visited while being on vacation abroad, and all I got was a comprehensive enumeration of local stores and perhaps a quick display of some of their purchases. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an avid bargain hunter as well, I love shopping and I firmly believe you can never have too many pairs of shoes, but I can also do all that online and at home. If I’m in a new place only for a few days, I often can’t find enough time to go shopping as well.

Well… like I said, no glamorous travel plans for this year. The options I do have don’t appeal to me – yes, I did learn my lesson, and now I do discriminate when it comes to travel opportunities. But I’m not giving up on brief impromptu trips, at least locally, if further away is not an option. Who knows what the year may bring… Anyway, I do intend to discover more, I’m just taking a different route.

Thank you for the inspiration, Amy (Lens-Artists Weekly Challenge – My Travels). Have a good time, all of you, whether you’re travelling or uncovering hidden treasures at home. There are so many ways of exploring. And do share your photos with the rest of us!

28 Replies to “A Time To Travel And A Time To Stay Home”

  1. Fantastic post, I agree with your thoughts about traveling, as much as I love to travel, I didn’t want that to be my only source of happiness and over the years I’ve learned to find beauty in my own backyard, exploring and traveling all over Ireland brought so much joy in my life

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We ignore accessible happiness too often, as though it’s only worth having if it requires tremendous effort. I’m glad you found joy close to home as well. Anyway, from what I hear, Ireland is beautiful and certainly worth exploring.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great ending shot of the tower
    And there really is an evolution of perspective with travel – eh?
    I hope your local exploring pans out-
    And you are so spot on with the traveling for social media showing off- omg – and then shopping and bringing back the wares – it puzzles me a bit- but guess it fits into the larger consumerism MO
    Oh and the only thing I want to add is that people sometimes use trips to peak jump in life – and their next trip is always what fuels the now – that can be just fine if it works for their wellness – but I encountered a few ladies from this place – got to know them in 2016 – and the one is insecure and seems to be taking these trips that define her and boost her and just ran into her (last fall) at a Mediterranean eatery and our groups day together and what did she do – showed everyone her latest exotic beach pictures (yawn yawn yawn)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get the “yawn” part – showing people photos of your latest trip in person and exchanging impressions about it creates a bond stronger than can be obtained through social media, but there’s a time and a place for it… and a right reason for which to do it as well.
      I did go through a stage where I was focusing all too much on the next trip, but it is terribly unhealthy if everything in between, everyday life, is just killing time. I eventually understood why I was behaving that way and learnt to deal with it, but bad habits are tough to break 🙂 . As for local exploring, I already have a few ideas, but they’ll have to wait until the weather improves.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah – the weather here is not too conducive for exploring
        And I know exactly what you mean about finding balance with all things eh?
        But it sure is a gift to be able to go and your Madrid post has been with me all
        Week –
        Could be a start for s movie
        A year of Madrid or something like that

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely post, I quite agree with your thoughts about travelling. I thought I would want to go abroad until I was no longer fit enough to, but to my surprise I’m really not that bothered anymore. I sometimes think that the ease of travelling vicariously has spoiled things for us. I know there is nothing like seeing a place in person, but it loses the mystery having seen it so many times already. For now I am content to explore closer to home,
    “There are so many ways of exploring”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think I might do some closer to home exploring in the near future as well. I must say, I’m surprised it doesn’t bother me more. Some things change gradually and we don’t even notice the process as it takes place. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to do the same thing. But in this case, it would mean having to spend time with some toxic people I’d rather avoid. Plus, I’ve been to that particular place several times before.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Travel while your feet can take you. I always enjoy your narratives. I am familiar with Rome and Paris and Istanbul, what we’re the other places.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well said Ana. Traveling is not for everyone, and often times those who travel pay no attention to the most important aspects of the places and people they meet. That said, good for you for engaging with the places and people you visit.

    Liked by 1 person

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