I am a traveler. I am actually a voracious traveler. I have traveled around the world on a motorcycle, I have cycled through the desert in Australia, I have packed up my family and moved to another country for months sometimes years at a time, I once even sailed around the world with my young children partaking in an overnight experience on the African Savannah while I was there.
And yet, in all of these travels, I have not left the comfort and security of my house. I live vicariously through the written word and travel along with the author and sometimes their family experiencing all that they see and do. I laugh along with their funny bits and I moan along with them when things don’t go as planned. I can see the vistas and views as they are described and relate them to experiences that I have had and photos that I have seen in the past or that they have generously included as part of their story.
In my life, I have a dream. My dream is to travel for an extended period of time to Great Britain and Ireland. Of all the places in the world this is where my dreams push me to regularly. I imagine myself tucked up in a cottage somewhere exploring the country by walking/cycling and generally roaming at will and marveling at the beauty that surrounds me. I have always found it to be a shame that after looking at the same view over many years we viewers can become immune to the awe inspiring sites that nature has created. The majesty of the vistas no longer strike us in the same way as those seeing it for the first time. However, there is always somewhere else to travel to and to see for the first time which is a strong pull for the traveler in all of us.
I have had the priviledge in my life to have visited Great Britain once before in my life. It seems like so long ago, I was a 12 year old on a bus tour with my parents. As the youngest person on the bus by a good 10 years who at 21 was the youngest passenger by at least 25 years I was clearly not the target age group for the tour. I do not regret going on this trip at this time – my memories are mostly still intact of the many things that we saw and did however, I do regret that I didn’t know enough about the country’s history to fully enjoy and appreciate all that I was seeing…Well since I’m being honest, I also regret all the napping that I did for much of every day on the bus as we drove and drove and drove to get to all of our scheduled stops on time!
I currently live in Haliburton County, a county which is fondly referred to as the “Haliburton Highlands” – a verbal throw back from the time when the Scottish settlers arrived to settle this area found the geography comparable to the Scottish Highlands. This morning as I drove into work I looked at the mist rising over the lake in front of the changing leaves and my visual memories of the places that I dream about snapped into focus. As much as I would love to travel overseas and explore old castles and immerse myself in the history of another country – I have the beautiful vistas and the rising mists that typically both I and Hollywood seem to associate with both Scotland and Ireland right here on my doorstep.
As I begin my next journey to another time and place via a great book I can gaze out my living room window at the changing colours on the trees and appreciate that the place that I call home is just as beautiful as anywhere else in the world and is eerily reminiscent of the places I dream of traveling to when I remember to stop and really look at what I’m seeing.