We love starting a new year, and nothing sparks an ear-to-ear grin faster than a chat about where we’d like to go next. So what is it about travel that makes us smile?
Last night we sat down in our cozy little living room, started a crackling fire, raised a glass to say goodbye to 2015, and opened the conversation.
As the ideas began to flow, we realized we were talking more about the kind of experiences we wanted to share together, as opposed to the destinations we wanted to notch on our belts. Hmmm, that’s interesting.
We were exploring what would make us happy. The longer we talked, we realized that for us, the joy of travel boils down to 5 themes.
1) We like to get out of our comfort zone. Our life-long wandering started when we moved from the USA to Africa. That shook things up, and we haven’t stopped traveling to places that challenge us to up our game.
2) We crave new sensations. For us there’s no better adventure than experiencing the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of a new place. Give us a boisterous market and we’re in heaven.
3) We want to learn, experience, and observe. The eternal quest for wisdom can take many paths. Our chosen route has taken us to unfamiliar places to live, work, and explore. Only time will tell if we acquired any wisdom.
4) We love the simplicity of living with very little. When it comes to packing, we truly are minimalist travelers. Living day to day out of a small backpack reminds us that we don’t need stuff – what we do need is family, friends, and each other – it’s that simple.
5) We strive to understand other cultures. Sometimes it seems that the differences between world cultures is vast. But we have found that when you get to know individuals, not their governments, it’s the common ground we all share that’s enormous.
So what about you? What is it about travel that makes you happy and brings a smile to your face?
We’re looking forward to a fabulous New Year. Wishing you and yours all the best in 2016.
Terri & James
P.S. One of the fun things we did over the holidays was make “architectural alphabets” from our photos. The word “smile” up above came from the gorgeous Rila Monastery in Bulgaria. Has anyone else tried this with your photos?